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Actor + Director | 40 Great Collaborations In Movies
39. Max von Sydow & Ingmar Bergman   View Complete List Back Page 39/40 Next

Ingmar Bergman
Max von Sydow

Best Film
While the bleak and confronting The Virgin Spring makes a strong claim, The Seventh Seal remains the most enduring monument to Bergman and von Sydow's partnership. Not just a scouring meditation on faith and death - come on, it's got board games people! - the masterpiece is proof that the two could do playful too. An early and awe-inspiring example of two great talents morphing to create a blueprint for arthouse cinema. And Bill And Ted's Bogus Journey.
Notable Pairings
The Seventh Seal, The Virgin Spring, The Passion Of Anna

What's The Secret Of Their Success?
If you made a Venn diagram of Ingrid Bergman and Max von Sydow's careers (ok, something for a rainy day) the shady middle bit would feature most of their greatest works. Why? Stagecraft is a factor - the pair first worked together at the Malmo Municipal Theatre in the '50s - as well as the intuitive shorthand they quickly developed. "Bergman doesn't really talk too much about what he wants you to do," says von Sydow of their instinctive on-set understanding.

Were They As Good With Anyone Else?
Liv Ullman (see above) and Bibi Andersson were both regular Bergman collaborators. Bergman coaxed a breakthrough performance from Andersson as the young nurse in Persona who tends to Ullman's mute, withdrawn actress. Von Sydow, of course, made the leap to Hollywood. Though he went on to work with David Lynch (Dune), Steven Spielberg (Minority Report) and a fiendish moustache (Flash Gordon), he never reached the peaks of his Bergman partnership.

39. Max von Sydow & Ingmar Bergman   View Complete List Back Page 39/40 Next

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