Fanny and Alexander

Synopsis: It's the early twentieth century Sweden. Adolescent siblings Alexander and Fanny Ekdahl lead a relatively joyous and exuberant life with their well-off extended paternal family, led by the family matriarch, their grandmother, Helena Ekdahl. The openness of the family culture is exemplified by Helena's now deceased husband ending up becoming best friends with one of her lovers, a Jewish puppet maker named Isak Jacobi, and their Uncle Gustav Adolf's open liaison with one of the family maids, Maj, who everyone in the family adores, even Gustav Adolf's wife, Alma. Between the siblings, Alexander in particular has inherited the family's love of storytelling, his parents and his grandmother who are actors and who manage their own theater. Things change for Alexander and Fanny when their father, Oscar, dies shortly after Christmas 1907. Although she truly does believe she loves him, the children's mother, Emilie, decides to marry Bishop Edvard Vergérus, who she first met as the officiate at O
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Ingmar Bergman
Production: Embassy Pictures Corporation
  Won 4 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 10 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
188 min


Alexander... What is it?

Would you like

to play cards before dinner?


This will be

our forty-third Christmas together.

- My dear Ester, is that true?

- Yes, 43 Christmases.

- Well, well, who'd have thought it?

- Yes, it's strange.

Dear Ester...

- Good evening, Mrs Ekdahl.

- Good evening, girls.

Alida, you may

go in to the other girls.

- Why are you so sullen?

- I'm not sullen.

- You're sullen every Christmas.

- I don't know what you mean.

You're sullen, and that's that!

Old b*tch...

"Worthy Joseph, do not fear

Thy angel is thee ever near

I come in haste to bring thee word

From thy creator and thy God

Mary and the child now wake

And quickly into safety take

Herod with his murdering hand

Threatens every man-child

in this land

All this I have noted well

And shall do as you foretell

Praised be God upon his throne

Who thus protects my only son

Thus, good people, ends our play

It all ends well this holy day

The son of God, saved from the sword

Is our Saviour, Christ, the Lord

We know that in his mercy mild

He guards

every woman, man and child

A time of joyous Christmas cheer

We wish to all, both far and near

Let no one into darkness fall

A Merry Christmas one and all!"

By tradition, the Ekdahl family treats

the company to a Christmas party.

The guests are rather a mixed lot,

quite different than the class

of people who dine here.

Nevertheless, refrain from displays

of priggishness and disapproval.

I expect a spirit of generosity,

warmth, and helpfulness.

Have I made myself clear?

Alma and Petra, take the hamper.

I'll take the punch bowl.

Are we ready?

Forward march!

Come, Carlchen. We mustn't

disappoint Mama again and be late.

Come along...

Hurry up now. Come on.

Come with me...

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Oscar!

Please, help yourselves!

Go ahead... Don't be shy!

My dear friends...

For twenty-two years,

in the capacity of theatre manager,

I have stood before you

and held a Christmas speech.

In spite of my lack of talent... that department.


when compared to my father,

who was brilliant at making speeches.

And who...

My sole talent,

if you can call it a talent in my case,

is that I love this little world.

The little world inside

the thick walls of this playhouse.

And I'm fond of the people

who work in this little world.

The outside world is bigger,

and occasionally this little world

succeeds in reflecting the bigger one.

Helping us to understand it

a little bit better.

Or perhaps we give

the people who come here

the opportunity

to forget it for a while...

...for a brief second or two.

A few brief seconds where they can

forget the harsh world out there.

Our theatre is a little...

...a small space filled

with orderliness, conscientiousness...

...and love.

I really don't know why I feel... comically solemn this evening.

When you have

given Ismael his dinner,

put out the lights in the shop

and lock the door.

I have the key with me.

- Good night, Aron.

- Good night, Uncle Isak.

Oh, Isak...

Merry Christmas.

I can't imagine where everyone is,

they should have been here ages ago.

I expect Oscar

is making a long, dull speech.

- I think I can hear them out front.

- Ester, bring me my furs.

Here comes my family.

Merry Christmas, Grandmama.

Merry Christmas.

Dear Mama, you look radiant.


What is it, my sweet?

Aunt Emma, how nice to see you.

Welcome, Aunt Emma.

The only question

is where Carl and Lydia could be.

- Maybe they mistook the hour.

- Christmas dinner is always at 4:30.

Alexander, go ring Uncle Carl's

doorbell and see if they're in.

- Please hurry, Carlchen.

- Shut up!

We're so very late,

and it happens every year...

- I'm doing this for your sake.

- No more now, mein Carlchen.

And it's for the last time, too...

- Mama!

- Hello, Carl.

Merry Christmas.

Well, at last we can have dinner.

- Fancy a visit this evening, Maj?

- Go on, sir...

- How are you, sir?

- I'm fine.

I do believe I should

give the girls a hand with the tree.

Have you noticed that my old man

has begun to court Maj?

- Doesn't it bother you?

- No, I find it rather sweet.

Come here, children.

Uncle Carl is going to treat you

to some Christmas fireworks.

All right, then...

Number one!

Here comes number two.

And now... for number three!


bring over the candlestick.

"It came to pass in those days,

that there went

out a decree from Caesar Augustus,

that all the world be taxed.

And his taxing was first made when

Cyrenius was governor of Syria.

And all went to be taxed,

every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee,

out of the city of Nazareth,

into Judaea,

to the city of David

which is called Bethlehem;

because he was

of the house and lineage of David.

To be taxed with Mary his espoused

wife, being great with child."


- Do you give in?

- No!

Oh, sorry about the mess...

Come upstairs,

and you'll get a Christmas box.

Thank you, ma'am.

Now then, children, go to bed.

Hurry up, Alexander.

Straight into bed with you!

Say your prayers.

"This has been a happy day,

now I come to you and pray.

Bless Papa, Mama and Grandmama,

my brothers, sisters, cousins,

my uncles and aunts,

Vega, Ester, Maj, Siri, Berta,

Alida, Lisen, Uncle Isak,

and everyone else. Amen."

Good night...

Rate this script:3.8 / 4 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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