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Ingmar Bergman deftly blends the eerie with the comedic in this philosophical battle of wits. In 19th-century Sweden, mesmerist Max von Sydow leads a troupe of traveling mountebanks, "Vogler's Magnetic Health Theater," that include his wife Ingrid Thulin, disguised as his male assistant; his witchy old grandmother Naima Wifstrand, purveyor of potions; coachman Lars Ekborg, skilled at getting out of town quickly; and show barker Åke Fridell, a silver-tongued persuader. Detained in a small town by suspicious police, they are ordered to give a command performance for the local authorities, eager to expose them as fakes. Instead, von Sydow comes up with his greatest trick yet. 1959 Special Jury Prize, Venice Film Festival. DIR/SCR Ingmar Bergman; PROD Allan Ekelund. Sweden, 1958, b&w, 101 min. In Swedish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

AFI Member passes accepted.

101 Minutes