Ingmar Bergman is a true master of Cinema. Here are ten of his films that I would say are his best and a must see for any film lover.
1. Seventh Seal (1957)
My favorite of his films and the most popular of his. It’s about a Knight who returns from the Crusades to find Sweden ravaged by plague. In his search for God he meets a group of actors, suffering peasants, and Death whom he plays a deadly game of chess with. In fact this film was shot in 35 days and won the special jury prize at Cannes in 1957.
2. Shame (1968)
About a young couple who are violinists who attempt to evade a civil war and retreat to an island off the coast. But the war follows them and are charged with aiding the enemy. Definitely a movie about hopelessness, betrayal, and human weakness.
3. Hour of the Wolf (1967)
About an artist who lives at his summer island with his wife. There he gets terrible nightmares and hallucinations. Bergman used the eerie landscape of the Island of Faro.
4. Wild Strawberries (1957)
An aged professor travels by car with his daughter-in-law to Lund to receive an honorary doctorate. A visit to the family home and other encounters on the way inspire flashbacks. Bergman skillfully shift the action to past and present, dream, and reality.
5. Cries and Whispers (1972)
A woman named Agnes is riddled with cancer, and his dying in the family mansion. Her two sisters return home to give her comfort. But each has their own pain and suffering. Sven Nykvist won the Cinematography Oscar for this film.
6. Through a Glass Darkly (1961)
Karin a young woman reads that she is an incurable schizophrenic and plunges into a visionary world. It’s a very odd movie indeed.
7. The Virgin Spring (1960)
A man avenges his daughter’s murder in 14th Century Sweden. The film won the International Critics Prize at Cannes.
8. Fanny and Alexander (1982)
A film about two children whose father dies and their Grandmother Ekdahl’s friend and lover rescues them from their new stepfather and brings joy back to their lives. This is Bergman’s more optimistic film.
9. Summer Interlude (1950)
A ballerina looks back on the summer she spent several years before on an island near Stockholm with the man she loved. But he dies in an accident and she becomes cold and bitter until a young journalist comes in her life. The Summer Interlude was his first mature film.
10. A Passion (1969)
A man with a past has found peace living in remote seclusion but is disturbed one day by a woman asking to use his phone. Thus meeting her, he is embroiled with her and her two friends a married couple. While all this happens a homicidal maniac is at large. A Passion hallmarks Bergman’s unique style of expression.
These ten films are his best and his interesting ones so take time and enjoy them. For more information try the Holt Foreign Film Guide, Imdb.com, and Facets Movie Lovers Guide all which helped me.