Autumn Sonata

Synopsis: After having neglected her children for many years, world famous pianist Charlotte visits her daughter Eva in her home. To her surprise she finds her other daughter, Helena, there as well. Helena is mentally disabled, and Eva has taken Helena out of the institution where their mother had placed her. The tension between Charlotte and Eva only builds up slowly, until a nightly conversation releases all the things they have wanted to tell each other.
Genre: Drama, Music
Director(s): Ingmar Bergman
Production: Criterion Collection
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
99 min


Sometimes I watch my wife,

without her being aware of

my presence.

The first time she entered that room,

she said,

"It's good. I want to be here."

We'd met only a few days before,

at a bishops' council in Trondheim.

She was the correspondent

of a church magazine.

We met at lunch, and I told her about

the vicarage here.

I ventured to suggest we come here

after the conference.

On the way here, I asked her

if she would marry me.

She didn't reply.

But when we entered this room,

she turned to me and said,

"It's good. I want to be here."

Ever since then we've lived a good

and quiet life here at the vicarage.

Eva has told me about her life.

After school, she went to university.

She was engaged to a doctor,

and lived with him for several years.

She wrote two little books,

contracted tuberculosis,

broke off the engagement

and moved from Oslo to a small town

in the south of Norway,

where she started working

as a journalist.

This is the first of her books -

I'm very fond of it.

She writes,

"One has to learn to live;

I practise every day.

"The greatest obstacle

is that I don't know who I am.

"I fumble in the dark.

"Were someone to love me

for who I am,

"I might at last be able

to study myself.

"The possibility of this

is rather remote."

If I could only tell her one time

that she is loved,


But I can't say it in such a way

that she will believe me.

I lack the proper words.

Can I read you my letter to Mother,

or am I disturbing you?

No, come in. Let me

switch off the radio.

I can come back later.

I would very much like

to hear your letter.

"Dearest Mother,

yesterday I ran into Agnes,

"who was visiting her parents

with her family.

"She told me Leonardo had died.

"Dearest little Mummy, I can imagine

how terrible you must feel.

"Would you like to visit us

for a few days, or weeks?

"Whichever suits you best.

"In case you get frightened

and say no directly,

"I must tell you the vicarage

is very spacious.

"You'll have your own room,

secluded and with all mod cons.

"We have a grand piano

for you to practise on.

"Wouldn't it be nice

not to have to stay at a hotel?

"Please say you'll come!

"We'll take good care of you

and spoil you.

"It's such a long time since we met.

In October it will be seven years.

"With love from Viktor

and your daughter Eva."

- That sounds very good.

- Do you think so?

- Mummy dearest! Welcome!

- Eva dear, here I am.

I'm so happy you're here.

Let me help you.

- What a long journey.

- Yes, I know.

The last bit is the worst.

But isn't it beautiful here.

- Will you stay for a while?

- I certainly will.

- How nice that you're here!

- And I want to see everything.

What heavy bags! Have you brought

all your music?

- Of course. I intend to move in.

- That would be lovely.

- You must give me some lessons.

- Of course.

- Where's Viktor?

- He's not here.

We didn't expect you so early.

He'll be back for lunch.

- This is your room.

- It's charming.

What a wonderful view.

Here's the bathroom.

Very attractive and modern.

- The closet, I hope it's big enough.

- I'm sure it is.

I'm really very tired.

My back aches. I sat with Leonardo

during his last 24 hours.

He was in terrible pain,

despite injections every two hours.

At times he cried.

It wasn't for fear of dying,

but out of pain.

There was building work going on

outside, drilling and hammering.

The sun was so hot, and there were

neither blinds nor awnings.

We tried to get another room, but

several wards were closed for repairs.

Towards the evening the noise

Rate this script:4.5 / 2 votes

Ingmar Bergman

Ernst Ingmar Bergman (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈɪŋmar ˈbærjman] ( listen); 14 July 1918 – 30 July 2007) was a Swedish director, writer, and producer who worked in film, television, theatre and radio. Considered to be among the most accomplished and influential filmmakers of all time, Bergman's renowned works include Smiles of a Summer Night (1955), The Seventh Seal (1957), Wild Strawberries (1957), The Silence (1963), Persona (1966), Cries and Whispers (1972), Scenes from a Marriage (1973), and Fanny and Alexander (1982). Bergman directed over sixty films and documentaries for cinematic release and for television, most of which he also wrote. He also directed over 170 plays. From 1953, he forged a powerful creative partnership with his full-time cinematographer Sven Nykvist. Among his company of actors were Harriet and Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Gunnar Björnstrand, Erland Josephson, Ingrid Thulin and Max von Sydow. Most of his films were set in Sweden, and numerous films from Through a Glass Darkly (1961) onward were filmed on the island of Fårö. His work often deals with death, illness, faith, betrayal, bleakness and insanity. Philip French referred to Bergman as "one of the greatest artists of the 20th century [...] he found in literature and the performing arts a way of both recreating and questioning the human condition." Mick LaSalle argued, "Like Virginia Woolf and James Joyce in literature, Ingmar Bergman strove to capture and illuminate the mystery, ecstasy and fullness of life, by concentrating on individual consciousness and essential moments." more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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1 Comment
  • marek_c
    Does anybody have the original Swedish version of the script?
    LikeReply2 years ago


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"Autumn Sonata" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 21 Mar. 2023. <>.

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