Wild Strawberries

“Wild Strawberries” was Ingmar Bergman's very next project after “The Seventh Seal.” As such, its shares some thematic similarities with its predecessor while its setting is entirely different.

In “Wild Strawberries,” Doctor Isak Borg (Victor Sjostrom) struggles to find meaning to his life while facing the prospect of death, as did the knight in The Seventh Seal. Also like the knight, the seventy-six-year-old doctor is on a journey: he travels along Highway E 4 to a commencement ceremony at the University of Lund, where he will be honored for the fiftieth anniversary of receiving his degree. For Doctor Borg, this journey from life to death. As he travels along the E 4, he is besieged by memories and tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.

The doctor's memory, involving wild strawberries, becomes one of the most memorable scenes in the film. It sharpens his awareness that somewhere along the way he has lost sight of the ideals of his youth. The wild strawberries remind him of the simple joys of life which he has neglected in favor of intellectual pursuits.

The idea for the film came to Bergman after a predawn drive on the E 4, as he traveled north from Stockholm to Dalarna. When he passed his hometown of Uppsala, he was overcome with a desire to stop and see his grandmother's home. As he walked into the house, he asked himself “What if I could suddenly walk into my childhood”

Oscar Alert

Wild Strawberries was nominated for Original Screenplay by Ingmar Bergman; the winner, however, was the Doris Day-Rock Hudson comedy,” Pillow Talk,” scripted by Russell Rouse, Clarance Greene, Stanley Shapiro, and Maurice Richlin.

Actor Alert

The Swedish Victor Sjostrom is better known as a director of silent films, including “The Wind” (1928)

The professor's daughter-in-law is played by the young Ingrid Thulin, who'll become a crucial member of Bergman's ensemble and later an international star.

Director Alert

Ingmar Bergman was born in 1918 in Uppsala, Sweden. His father was a pastor, and thus ingrained in him concepts that would later surface in his films: sin, confession, punishment, forgiveness and grace. Bergman became a student of art history and literature at the University of Stockholm, then an errand boy at the Royal Opera House, and finally a filmmaker.

Bergman's films include Wild Strawberries (1957), Persona (1966), Cries and Whispers (1972), Scenes from a Marriage (1973), Autumn Sonata (1978) and Fanny and Alexander (1983). He wrote but did not direct Best Intentions (1992).

Running Time: 90 minutes