The Best Ingmar Bergman Movies Ranked And Where to Watch them

If you're looking for the best Ingmar Bergman movies of all time then here is a definitive list. We rank every movie directed by Ingmar Bergman based on their popularity score from IMDB from best to worst. Click on the ‘see more’ button to find out where to watch them in Australia covering all streaming services. In July 2021 there are 22 films in this list.

List of the Best Movies Directed by Ingmar Bergman In Order of Popularity

  1. Wild Strawberries
  2. Autumn Sonata
  3. Persona
  4. Winter Light
  5. Fanny and Alexander
  6. The Virgin Spring
  7. Through a Glass Darkly
  8. Smiles of a Summer Night
  9. Hour of the Wolf
  10. The Magic Flute
  11. Summer with Monika
  12. Sawdust and Tinsel
  13. Brink of Life
  14. From the Life of the Marionettes
  15. After the Rehearsal
  16. To Joy
  17. A Lesson in Love
  18. Waiting Women
  19. Fårö Document 1979
  20. A Ship to India
  21. Crisis
  22. All These Women

The top 22 Movies directed by Ingmar Bergman

1. Wild Strawberries

Rated: Not Rated

8.2/10

With the exception of his elderly housekeeper Miss Agda who he treats almost like a surrogate platonic wife, widowed seventy-eight year old Dr. Isak Borg, a former medical doctor and professor, has retreated from any human contact, partly his own want but partly the decision of others who do not want to spend time with him because of his cold demeanor. He is traveling from his home in Stockholm to Lund to accept an honorary degree. Instead of flying as was the original plan, he decides to take the day long drive instead. Along for the ride is his daughter-in-law Marianne, who had been staying with him for the month but has now decided to go home. The many stops and encounters along the way make him reminisce about various parts of his life. Those stops which make him reminisce directly are at his childhood summer home, at the home of his equally emotionally cold mother, and at a gas station where the attendants praise him as a man for his work. But the lives of other people they encounter almost mirror his own, including hitchhikers Sara, Viktor and Anders - who remind him of his cousin Sara who he was going to marry, himself and his irresponsible brother Sigfrid who Sara eventually married - a bickering married couple Sten and Berit Alman, and Marianne and her husband and Isak's son Evald, whose marriage is as strained as was his own.

2. Autumn Sonata

Rated: PG

8.2/10

After having neglected her children for many years, world famous pianist Charlotte visits her daughter Eva in her home. To her surprise she finds her other daughter, Helena, there as well. Helena is mentally disabled, and Eva has taken Helena out of the institution where their mother had placed her. The tension between Charlotte and Eva only builds up slowly, until a nightly conversation releases all the things they have wanted to tell each other.

3. Persona

Rated: Not Rated

8.1/10

A young nurse, Alma, is put in charge of Elisabeth Vogler: an actress who is seemingly healthy in all respects, but will not talk. As they spend time together, Alma speaks to Elisabeth constantly, never receiving any answer. Alma eventually confesses her secrets to a seemingly sympathetic Elisabeth and finds that her own personality is being submerged into Elisabeth's persona.

4. Winter Light

Rated: Not Rated

8.1/10

On a cold winter's Sunday, the pastor of a small rural church (Tomas Ericsson) performs service for a tiny congregation; though he is suffering from a cold and a severe crisis of faith. After the service, he attempts to console a fisherman (Jonas Persson) who is tormented by anxiety, but Tomas can only speak about his own troubled relationship with God. A school teacher (Maerta Lundberg) offers Tomas her love as consolation for his loss of faith. But Tomas resists her love as desperately as she offers it to him. This is the second in Bergman's trilogy of films dealing with man's relationship with God.

5. Fanny and Alexander

Rated: R

8.1/10

It's the early twentieth century Sweden. Adolescent siblings Alexander and Fanny Ekdahl lead a relatively joyous and exuberant life with their well-off extended paternal family, led by the family matriarch, their grandmother, Helena Ekdahl. The openness of the family culture is exemplified by Helena's now deceased husband ending up becoming best friends with one of her lovers, a Jewish puppet maker named Isak Jacobi, and their Uncle Gustav Adolf's open liaison with one of the family maids, Maj, who everyone in the family adores, even Gustav Adolf's wife, Alma. Between the siblings, Alexander in particular has inherited the family's love of storytelling, his parents and his grandmother who are actors and who manage their own theater. Things change for Alexander and Fanny when their father, Oscar, dies shortly after Christmas 1907. Although she truly does believe she loves him, the children's mother, Emilie, decides to marry Bishop Edvard Vergérus, who she first met as the officiate at Oscar's funeral. She also wants a father figure for the children. Going into the marriage, Emilie has inclinations that it will be a much different life than she had with the Ekdahls, but is not prepared for the harsh, austere and strict life Edvard rules with an iron fist. Emilie, Alexander and Fanny end up being prisoners in the bishop's stark and humorless house. As Alexander butts head with his stepfather and tries to learn how to keep to his own principles while obeying Edvard, Emilie tries to figure out a way to regain her and her children's own destiny, as Edvard will not consent to divorce, and her "desertion" in the eyes of the law means that Alexander and Fanny would become his wards.

6. The Virgin Spring

Rated: Not Rated

8.1/10

Set in beautiful 14th century Sweden, it is the sombre, powerful fable of wealthy land-owning parents whose daughter, a young virgin, is brutally raped and murdered by goat herders after her half sister has invoked a pagan curse. By a bizarre twist of fate, the murderers ask for food and shelter from the dead girl's parents, who, discovering the truth about their erstwhile lodgers, exact a chilling revenge.

7. Through a Glass Darkly

Rated: Not Rated

8.0/10

A young woman, Karin, has recently returned to the family island after spending some time in a mental hospital. On the island with her is her lonely brother and kind, but increasingly desperate husband ('Max von Sydow'). They are joined by Karin's father ('Gunnar Björnstrand'), who is a world-traveling author that is estranged to his children. The film depicts how Karin's grip on reality slowly slips away and how the bonds between the family members are changing in light of this fact.

8. Smiles of a Summer Night

Rated: Not Rated

7.8/10

It's late nineteenth century Sweden. Middle aged lawyer Fredrik Egerman and his nineteen year old current wife Anne Egerman's two-year marriage has not yet been consummated. Fredrik wants to give Anne as much time as she needs to feel comfortable before losing her virginity. Although she loved Fredrik when they got married, Anne realizes she is attracted to Fredrik's adult son, Henrik Egerman, a brooding seminary student who is home following his most recent exams. Also a virgin, Henrik has been in an awkward flirtation with the Egermans' sexually experienced maid, Petra, in an effort to lose his virginity. When she first sees actress Desirée Armfeldt, Anne, without Fredrik telling her, knows that Desirée and Fredrik used to be lovers, the two who still have feelings for each other. Desirée currently is having an affair with married Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm. While he is jealous of any man who Desirée shows any attention to such as Fredrik, he is not the same with his young wife, the Countess Charlotte Malcolm, who he freely allows to have affairs of her own, or so he says. The Countess and Anne also happen to be friends. Largely orchestrated by Desirée, these interrelationships may play themselves out on one summer overnight social gathering at Desirée's mother's house, but not without the potential of some unforeseen tragic consequences.

9. Hour of the Wolf

Rated: Not Rated

7.6/10

An artist in crisis is haunted by nightmares from the past in Ingmar Bergman's only horror film, which takes place on a windy island. During "the hour of the wolf" - between midnight and dawn - he tells his wife about his most painful memories.

10. The Magic Flute

Rated: G

7.6/10

The Queen of the Night offers her daughter Pamina to Tamino, but he has to bring her back from her father and priest Sarastro. She gives a magic flute to Tamino and magic bells to the bird hunter Papageno, who follows Tamino and wants to find a wife. The duo travels in a journey of love and knowledge.

11. Summer with Monika

Rated: R

7.5/10

Harry Lund is a nineteen-year-old man who meets Monika, a romantic, reckless and rebellious seventeen-year-old, and they fall in love. They leave their families and jobs in their small town, Harry gets his father's boat and they spend the summer together in an isolated island. Monika gets pregnant, and Harry decides to marry her. He grows up, gets a job and returns to his studies, trying to improve their lives and raise their daughter June, while Monika just wants to have fun.

12. Sawdust and Tinsel

Rated: Not Rated

7.5/10

While traveling in caravan through the country of Sweden, one member of the decadent Alberti Circus tells the owner and ringmaster Albert Johansson a sad story about the clown Frost: seven years ago, his wife Alma was surprised by him bathing naked in a lake with a regiment. When the circus arrives in the town where Albert's wife Agda and sons live, he decides to pay a visit with his young mistress Anne to a famous local troupe to borrow some capes, hats and vests for their tonight show. They are humiliated by the director Mr. Sjuberg, but he lends the pieces, and the lead actor Frans gives an unsuccessful pass on Anne. When Albert decides to visit Agda, the jealous Anne meets Frans, who seduces her with an apparently valuable necklace, and they have a love affair. Anne finds that the necklace is actually worthless and returns to the circus. Meanwhile, Agda refuses to accept Albert back and he sees Anne leaving the theater and going to the jewelry. During the exhibition, Albert and Anne are submitted to humiliations by Frans.

13. Brink of Life

Rated: Not Rated

7.5/10

Three women in a maternity ward reveal their lives and intimate thoughts to each other while in a maternity ward together, where they face the choice of keeping their babies or offering them for adoption.

14. From the Life of the Marionettes

Rated: R

7.4/10

Made during Bergman's tax-related exile in Germany, the film continues the story of Katarina and Peter EGermann, the feuding, childless, professional couple who appear in one episode of "Scenes From A Marriage." After Peter perpetrates a horrendous crime in its first scene, the rest of the film consists of a non-linear examination of his motivations, incorporating a police psychological investigation, scenes from the EGermanns' married life, and dream sequences.

15. After the Rehearsal

Rated: R

7.3/10

Rational, exacting, and self-controlled theater director, Henrik Vogler, often stays after rehearsal to think and plan. On this day, Anna comes back, ostensibly looking for a bracelet. She is the lead in his new production of Stindberg's "A Dream Play." She talks of her hatred for her mother, now dead, an alcoholic actress, who was Vogler's star and lover. Vogler falls into a reverie, remembering a day Anna's mother, Rakel, late in life, came after rehearsal to beg him to come to her apartment. He awakes and Anna reveals the reason she has returned: she jolts him into an emotional response, rare for him, and the feelings of a young woman and an older man play out.

16. To Joy

Rated: Not Rated

7.2/10

Stig, a visiting soloist to a small Swedish orchestra, marries fellow musician Martha, but the inner torment and sense of failure in Stig leads to an extra-marital affair and a tragic ending.

17. A Lesson in Love

Rated: Not Rated

7.0/10

After 15 years of marriage, David and Marianne have grown apart. David has had an affair with a patient of his and Marianne has got herself involved with her former lover Carl-Adam, who's also David's best friend. When she travels to Copenhagen to meet Carl-Adam, David takes the same train as she does, making it look coincidental. Spending time together remembering their past and talking about their future, they come to understand each other again, which leads to a reconciliation.

18. Waiting Women

Rated: Not Rated

7.0/10

Rakel, Marta, Karin and Annette are married to four brothers. While waiting in a summer cottage for their husbands to come home, they tell each other stories about their marriages. Rakel tells about the time she had an affair and confronted her husband with it. Marta's story is about how she at first refused to marry and had her child by herself. Karin tells about what happened when one time she and her husband got stuck in an elevator together. While the women tell their stories, Marta's younger sister Maj is planning to elope.

19. Fårö Document 1979

Rated: Not Rated

6.8/10

Fårö Document 1979 is the ten-year followup to the first documentary Bergman made about his adopted home, Fårö, where he filmed many of his best works and lived until the end of his life.

20. A Ship to India

Rated: Not Rated

6.5/10

Sailor Johannes Blom returns to his home port, after seven years at sea, to find that Sally, the girl he has been thinking of while away, is completely despondent. Seven years earlier, obstreperous Alexander Blom, brings his mistress Sally to live with him, his wife Alice, son Johannes, and crew, aboard the salvage boat he captains. Amidst all the tensions on the small boat, Johannes and Sally fall in love with each other.

21. Crisis

Rated: Not Rated

6.5/10

Ingeborg is a small-town piano teacher who raises her foster daughter, Nelly, into young adulthood. When Nelly is eighteen, she is shocked by the arrival of Jenny, her mother, whom she calls "Auntie." Jenny wants to take her to the big city and teach her to be a beautician in her salon. This is devastating news for Ingeborg, who is ill and does not expect to live long. Ulf, the stolid 30ish man in love with Nelly, begs her to stay; but she is not in love with him, considering him much too old. Instead, she is attracted to Jack, a new arrival in town. She doesn't guess that this strange young man with the striped suit and dashing mustache is her mother's lover as well.

22. All These Women

Rated: Not Rated

5.6/10

The pretentious critic Cornelius is writing a biography on a famous cellist and to do some research he goes to stay in his house for a few days. He doesn't manage to get an interview with the man, but by talking to all the women who live with him, he comes to learn a lot about the musician's private life none the less. Cornelius then decides to use this information and tries to blackmail the cellist into performing a composition that he, Cornelius, has written.