Ingmar Bergman

It. tit.: L’adultera; Sog., Scen: Ingmar Bergman, F.: Sven Nykvist; Mo.: Siv Kanälv-Lundgren; Scgf.: P.A. Lundgren; Co.: Mago (Max Goldstein); Mu.: Jan Johansson (leitmotiv Liksom en herdinna di C.M. Bellman, Alleluia Ave Maria di Wm. Byrd, Victimae Paschali laudes); Su.: Lennart Engholm; Int.: Bibi Andersson (Karin Vergerus), Elliott Gould (David Kovac), Max von Sydow (dr. Andreas Vergerus), Staffan Hallerstam (Anders Vergerus), Maria Nolgård (Maria Vergerus), Barbro Hiort Ornäs (dead mother of Karin), Åke Lindström (dr. Holm), Mimmo Wåhlander (a nurse), Elsa Ebbesen-Thornblad (woman of the hospital), Sheila Reid (Sara, David’s sister); Prod: Lars-Owe Carlberg per Cinematograph AB (Sweden), ABC Pictures Corporation (United States); Pri. pro.: 14 luglio 1971. 35mm. L.: 3134 m. D.: 114’. Col.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Beröringen / The Touch is one of director Bergman’s lesser known films, mainly due to the fact that the film has long been unavailable in its original, bi-lingual version with dialogue in Swedish and English. The most circulated version since the film’s original release has been the all-English version (even broadcasted on Swedish television). From an existing 35mm release print of the bi-lingual version, and with access to a 16mm print in Bergman’s private collection, a new sound negative was made in 2008, thus making the original version of the film available yet again. The film is set on the island of Gotland (just south of Bergman’s beloved Fårö) with Bibi Andersson playing a doctor’s wife who is seeing an American archaeologist friend (Elliott Gould) of her husband (Max von Sydow) shortly after the death of her mother. With reduced means and precise editing Bergman gives us a lowkey, intimate drama on the loneliness of existence and the difficulty in being true to oneself, and protagonist Andersson makes a finely tuned portrayal of a woman facing a mid-life crisis. The sparsely lit, almost claustrophobic interiors, and the subdued autumnal colours of the exteriors, are beautifully captured by cinematographer Sven Nykivst.

Jon Wengstroem


Beröringen stands as my first time narrating a simple love story for the cinema. It is a very delicate situation. I was very shy going into it. Because everything I write originates from personal experience and this film very much belongs to my life. If Beröringen had explored hatred and violence, I would feel much freer to speak about it. But love… Please don’t ask me to explain. And so, it is a love story between adults, written by an adult. There have been too many love stories involving the young recently. As for my heroine (Karin), I am neither for or against her. I love Karin, and that’s that. The simplest of explanations would sound absurd. My films emerge from visionary dreams. And Beröringen will trigger an unexpected emotional process in every viewer. In any case, the tension in this film stems from the contact between a rootless immigrant (Gould) and an upper-middleclass context where security and moral ease have been taken for granted for generations. Surrounding this ‘town without a history’ in the Swedish provinces are the remains of another era. The university invites a young archaeologist to take part in the excavations. We learn by chance that his parents were war refugees and that many members of his family perished in the gas chambers. My experience with Elliott Gould has been a very satisfying one. His acting possesses an unpredictable quality, a sort of feeling of danger and excitement with a magnetic effect. I should also say here that my American producers left me free rein in making Beröringen.

Ingmar Bergman, Bergman parle de son film, “L’Avant-Scène Cinéma”, no. 121, January 1972

Copy From

Restored in 2009 from a duplicate negative deposited in 2006, and a new sound negative made in 2008.