Tag Archives: Carl Theodor Dreyer

The President / Præsidenten (1919) Carl Theodor Dreyer, Richard Christensen, Christian Engelstoft, Hallander Helleman, Drama

The judge in a Danish town sees his illegitimate daughter facing a trial for the murder of her newborn child, and is rather sure that she will be sentenced to death. She became pregnant from an aristocrat who didn’t want to marry her. The same fate happened to her mother, although he wasn’t allowed to marry because of a vow he had given to his father who had to marry under rank after the girl got pregnant. As expected the sentence for his daughter is death, he asks for a pardon, but this isn’t granted although he is promoted. So he decides to free her and get her out of the country at all costs.

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Leaves from Satan’s Book / Blade af Satans bog (1920) Carl Theodor Dreyer, Helge Nissen, Halvard Hoff, Jacob Texiere, Drama

After seeing D. W. Griffith’s epic Intolerance, Denmark’s greatest director, Carl Theodor Dreyer (The Passion of Joan of Arc, Vampyr), was inspired to make his own four-episode historical epic with each story told end to end, anthology-style, linked by theme to the others. The unifying character, Satan, attempts to win God’s favor but is doomed to cheerless participation in dark episodes of human history: the temptation of Jesus, the Spanish Inquisition, the French Revolution and the Russo-Finnish war of 1918.

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Gertrud (1964) Carl Theodor Dreyer, Nina Pens Rode, Bendt Rothe, Ebbe Rode, Drama, Romance

In the elegant world of artists and musicians, Gertrud ends her marriage to Gustav and takes a lover, the composer Erland Jansson. When he also fails to live up to her idealistic standards, she leaves him and imposes on herself a kind of exile of the heart. In flashbacks and in conversations laced with memories, we also learn of her affair with Gabriel, who still wishes she would go off with him, and we learn of her adolescence, with its early expression of her isolating ideal of absolute love.

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