With his very first film as a director, made under the mentorship of the silent-film maestro Victor Sjöström, Ingmar Bergman began exploring a couple of the essential themes of his early period: youth pitted against crass society and the tensions between men and women. The eighteen-year-old Nelly (Inga Landgré), who lives with her foster mother in a quiet provincial town, is shaken by the sudden arrival of her birth mother (Marianne Löfgren), who eventually takes her to Stockholm—where Nelly receives a crash course in corruption and wrenching heartbreak. Crisis proved that Bergman had an incipient gift for developing characters and evoking atmosphere on-screen.

Film Info

  • Sweden
  • 1946
  • 93 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • Swedish

Available In

Collector's Set

Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema

Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema

Blu-ray Box Set

30 Discs


Collector's Set

Eclipse Series 1: Early Bergman

Eclipse 1: Early Bergman

DVD Box Set

5 Discs


Inga Landgré
Stig Olin
Marianne Löfgren
Dagny Lind
Allan Bohlin
Ernst Eklund
Uncle Edvard
Signe Wirff
Aunt Jessie
Ingmar Bergman
Harald Molander
Victor Sjöström
Ingmar Bergman
Based on a play by
Leck Fisher
Gösta Roosling
Oscar Rosander
Art director
Arne Åkermark
Erland von Koch


Crisis and A Ship to India: Bergman in the Making

Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema

Crisis and A Ship to India: Bergman in the Making

Two early works by Ingmar Bergman show the Swedish master grappling with the conventions of melodrama, which would go on to influence his later explorations of spiritual torment.

By Christine Smallwood


Ingmar Bergman

Writer, Director

Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman

The Swedish auteur began his artistic career in the theater but eventually navigated toward film—"the great adventure," as he called it—initially as a screenwriter and then as a director. Simply put, in the fifties and sixties, the name Ingmar Bergman was synonymous with European art cinema. Yet his incredible run of successes in that era—including The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, and The Virgin Spring, haunting black-and-white elegies on the nature of God and death—merely paved the way for a long and continuously dazzling career that would take him from the daring “Silence of God” trilogy (Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, The Silence) to the existential terrors of Cries and Whispers to the family epic Fanny and Alexander, with which he “retired” from the cinema. Bergman died in July 2007, leaving behind one of the richest bodies of work in the history of cinema.