Katz, Ephraim. The Film Encyclopedia. New York: Harper & Row, 1979.
t in the South during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, and Henry B. Walthall stars as members of two families torn apart by the conflict.
The complexity of its structure made the film unpopular with audiences. Brownlow writes, "This amazing picture was a commercial failure. It lost a great deal of money, but it telescoped what might otherwise have been years of slow, patient technical progress - and it sparked off one of the most exciting and concentrated creative eras in the history of art" (30).
Bergman has inspired filmmakers in a wide range of genres. Robert Emmet Long quotes Woody Allen, who calls Bergman "probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera" (192). Allen's movies contain numerous references to Bergman's films; some of his own films have been direct homages to the Swedish master, exploring similar issues in Allen's own unique style. Long contends, "In the seriousness of his commitment - in his fidelity to craftsmanship and in the intensity of his passion that can be electrifying - Bergman is surely one of our few great contemporary filmmakers" (192).
Bergman was attracted to the theater at a very young age and pursued a career with great determination. His first job in films was as a script doctor, and he was soon directing films. He took a number of projects to develop his distinctive voice, a mystical, philosophical approach that often included examinations of the inner psychology of women. By the time he had completed Smiles of a Summer Night (1955) and The Seventh Seal (1956), he had begun to be recognized by the international film community; both movies won prizes at the Cannes International Film Festival and established his reputation.
Modern audiences often find it difficult to watch because it is frequently shown at the wrong speed and because so many of the techn