The Fifth Act

The remarkable, final filmscripts of acclaimed director Ingmar Bergman, available in English for the first time

The scripts of award-winning film director Ingmar Bergman have been among the most important documents in film history. Though his vision in such films as Wild Strawberries and The Seventh Seal has shaped our thinking about the cinema, none of his most recent films have been shown in U.S. theaters. This book brings to English readers for the first time some of the finest creations of Bergman’s mature years. In these three scenarios of extraordinary frankness, even rawness, Bergman shows his tender yet realistic views on the world of theater, cinema, and acting, culminating with In the Presence of a Clown, where he returns to the character of his Uncle Carl, an irrepressible inventor who comes up with an early version of the talking film. These most recent scripts, in effect Bergman’s own fifth act, add an important and moving chapter to his life work. A preface contextualizing the scripts within Bergman’s oeuvre has been added by Lasse Bergstrom, a noted Swedish film critic as well as the publisher of Bergman’s work in Sweden.



“Bergman’s words turn instantly into images. I see the scenes before me, feel the radiance of the characters’ exertions.”
—Sverke Andreasson, The Gothenburg Post (Sweden)
“Bergman’s book, his texts, have the power to create the same effects, the same fire, and to thrill the reader just as intensely as his films and theater productions have thrilled his viewers. He is not only a magnificent director—he is also a great author.”
—Lars Hagstroem, Hallands Hyheter (Sweden)
“Bergman is indeed a wordcrafter, who in his somewhat eccentric style produces people and lives of flesh and blood.”
—Ingvar Engen, Falu Kuriren (Sweden)

Goodreads Reviews