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4,233 Ratings

The Virgin Spring


Directed by Ingmar Bergman
Sweden, 1960


Christians Töre and Märeta send their daughter, the virginal Karin, and their foster daughter Ingeri, to deliver candles to a church. On the way, the girls meet three goat herders who brutally rape and murder Karin. When the killers seek refuge in their family’s farm, Töre plots a fitting revenge.

Our take

Ingmar Bergman won his first Academy Award for one of his more brutal films: this vicious, existential revenge drama that would inspire Wes Craven’s horror classic The Last House on the Left. The Virgin Spring marks as well Bergman’s first collaboration with master cinematographer Sven Nykvist.

The Virgin Spring Directed by Ingmar Bergman

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1960 | Special Mention: Competition

Academy Awards

1961 | Nominee: Best Costume Design, Black-and-White

1961 | Winner: Best Foreign Language Film

Golden Globes (USA)

1961 | Winner: Best Foreign-Language Foreign Film

Critics reviews

Bergman’s formal perfection fosters a sense of the sexual and emotional uncanny, offering a clear-eyed view of murky human will that’s understood to be a paradox.
July 28, 2018
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While an undeniably powerful conclusion, one can be forgiven for wondering if Bergman’s taciturnity toward the film in print suggests he preferred cinematic ellipses and question marks, as well.
January 23, 2006
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A harrowing, yet ultimately affirming portrait of faith, humanity, and atonement.
January 01, 2002
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