Television, 1997

In the Presence of a Clown

Uncle Carl encounters death in the guise of a female clown.

'[A]mong the soon 80-year-old director's most powerful works.'
Nils Schwartz in Expressen

About the film

At the centre of In the Presence of a Clown we find a recurring Bergman character: uncle Carl Åkerblom, engineer and Schubert fan. Börje Ahlstedt returns to the role for the fourth time following Fanny and Alexander, The Best Intentions and Sunday's Children

The year is 1925 and the 54-year-old inventor Carl Åkerblom, has been locked-up at the psychiatric ward of Akademiska Hospital in Uppsala for the attempted murder of his fiancée, Pauline Thibault (Marie Richardson). Carl is intrigued by the idea of replacing silent movies with talking pictures. Together with another patient, Professor Osvald Vogler (Erland Josephson), he gets together a performance to show the magic of this idea.  A group of people attend the performance, including Carl's stepmother. During the performance emotional confrontations come to the surface among the people there. 

Though orginally made for television, In the Presence of a Clown was screened in the 'Un certain regard' at the Cannes film festival.


  • The Ingmar Bergman Archives.



  • Ingmar Bergman, Director, screenplay and a patient
  • Måns Reuterswärd, Producer
  • Pia Ehrnvall, Producer
  • Raymond Wemmenlöv, Director of Photography
  • Tony Forsberg, Director of Photography
  • Sven-Åke Visén, Director of Photography
  • Pelle Norén, Director of Photography
  • Sylvia Ingemarsson, Film Editor
  • Göran Wassberg, Production Designer
  • Mette Møller, Costume Designer
  • Cecilia Drott, Make-up
  • Christina Sjöblom, Make-up
  • Franz Schubert, Music Composer
  • Börje Ahlstedt, Carl Åkerblom
  • Marie Richardson, Paulin Thibault
  • Erland Josephson, Osvald Vogler
  • Pernilla August, Karin Bergman
  • Peter Stormare, Petrus Landahl
  • Anita Björk, Anna Åkerblom
  • Lena Endre, Märta Lundberg
  • Agneta Ekmanner, Rigmor, the clown
  • Gunnel Fred, Emma Vogler
  • Johan Lindell, Johan Egerman
  • Gerthi Kulle, Nurse Stella
  • Anna Björk, Mia Falk
  • Folke Asplund, Fredrik Blom
  • Inga Landgré, Alma Berglund
  • Alf Nilsson, Stefan Larsson
  • Harriet Nordlund, Karin Persson
  • Tord Peterson, Algot Frövik
  • Birgitta Pettersson, Hanna Apelblad