The Saga of Gosta Berling

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Saga of Gösta Berling
Gösta Berlings saga.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMauritz Stiller
Screenplay byMauritz Stiller
Ragnar Hyltén-Cavallius
Based onGösta Berlings Saga
by Selma Lagerlöf
StarringLars Hanson
Greta Garbo
CinematographyJulius Jaenzon
Distributed byAB Svenska Biografteaterns Filmbyrå
Release date
10 March 1924
Running time
86 minutes (Part I)
80 minutes (Part II)
183 minutes
LanguagesSilent film
Swedish intertitles

The Saga of Gösta Berling (Swedish: Gösta Berlings saga) is a 1924 Swedish romantic drama film directed by Mauritz Stiller and released by AB Svensk FAB Svensk Filmindustri, starring Lars Hanson, Gerda Lundequist and Greta Garbo in her domestic film breakthrough. It is based on Swedish Nobel Prize-winning author Selma Lagerlöf's 1891 debut novel Gösta Berlings saga. The film is also known as Gösta Berling's Saga, The Story of Gösta Berling and The Atonement of Gösta Berling.


Gösta Berling, a Lutheran vicar, is sacked because of his inappropriate life style. He entertains a wealthy lady who in return supports him. Following a variety of adventures he meets up with Elizabeth Dohna, a former duchess, and they start a new life together.




Camera and poster in Filmstaden, Solna.

The film was originally released in two parts in Sweden, Gösta Berlings saga del I on 10 March 1924, and Gösta Berlings saga del II seven days later.[1] The two-part version was also released in Finland and Norway, but for the rest of the world a shorter, one-part export version was made.

In 1927 the film was recut, almost halving its running time. This was the only version that was archived. In 1933 a sound version was released theatrically in Stockholm, with the intertitles removed, along with additional edits and some reordering of the scenes. Most of the missing material was discovered 20 years later and a restored version with new intertitles was released in theatres. The Swedish Film Institute added newly found fragments throughout the years, but as of the 1975 restoration about 450 metres of film from the original cut remained missing.

In February 2018, the completion of a new, comprehensive restoration was announced. The 2018 version is 16 minutes longer than the previous restoration and brings the film close to its original running time. It also restores the film's tinting scheme for the first time since its original release.[2]

Home media[edit]

In 2008, a Swedish DVD was released by AB Svensk Filmindustri, with English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and German subtitles. The 192-minute restoration played at 184 minutes, due to PAL's 4% speed-up. It featured a specially commissioned 2005 score by pianist and silent film music composer Matti Bye. The same version was also released on US DVD in 2006, by Kino International. It also played at 184 minutes as the NTSC DVD used the unconverted PAL transfer.


  1. ^ Robinson, David; Duncan, Paul (2007). Greta Garbo: Divine. Movie Icons. Taschen. p. 180. ISBN 978-3-8228-2209-8. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  2. ^ "Gösta Berlings saga i nyrestaurerad version" [Gösta Berling's Saga in a newly restored version]. Swedish Film Database (in Swedish). Swedish Film Institute. Retrieved 11 April 2018.

External links[edit]