6.0/10
503
7 user 8 critic

The President (1919)

Præsidenten (original title)
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 ... See full summary »
Reviews

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A young man is elected by a small village to be its parson. As part of his duties, he is required to marry the widow of the parson before him. This poses two problems--first, the widow is ... See full summary »

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Hildur Carlberg, Einar Röd, Greta Almroth
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Adele Reuter-Eichberg, Vladimir Gajdarov, Polina Piekowskaja
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In 4 episodic tales of human suffering; the temptation of Jesus, the Spanish Inquisition, the French Revolution and the Russo-Finnish war of 1918, Satan attempts to win God's favor.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Helge Nissen, Halvard Hoff, Jacob Texiere
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When a man becomes tyrannical towards his family, the women of the house decide to teach him a lesson in gratitude.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Johannes Meyer, Astrid Holm, Karin Nellemose
Michael (1924)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Triangle story: painter, his young male model, unscrupulous princess.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Walter Slezak, Max Auzinger, Nora Gregor
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Set entirely in one room, an innocent young man is accused of plagiarising the work of an old professor. Later, he will be blamed for the professors murder.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Georg Rydeberg, Wanda Rothgardt, Gabriel Alw
Gertrud (1964)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In the elegant world of artists and musicians, Gertrud ends her marriage to Gustav and takes a lover, the composer Erland Jansson

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Nina Pens Rode, Bendt Rothe, Ebbe Rode
Day of Wrath (1943)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The young wife of an aging priest falls in love with his son amidst the horror of a merciless witch hunt in 17th century Denmark.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Thorkild Roose, Lisbeth Movin, Sigrid Neiiendam
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The story of Madame DuBarry, the mistress of Louis XV of France, and her loves in the time of the French revolution.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Pola Negri, Emil Jannings, Harry Liedtke
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A stranger comes to work at widow Halla's farm. Halla and the stranger fall in love, but when he is revealed as Eyvind, an escaped thief forced into crime by his family's starvation, they ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Victor Sjöström, Edith Erastoff, John Ekman
Vampyr (1932)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A drifter obsessed with the supernatural stumbles upon an inn where a severely ill adolescent girl is slowly becoming a vampire.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Julian West, Maurice Schutz, Rena Mandel
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Tore takes over the rundown family farm. Applying his youthful energy, he intends to make it into a big farm like Glomgården on the other side of the river, where beautiful Berit loves. ... See full summary »

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Einar Sissener, Tove Tellback, Stub Wiberg
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Richard Christensen ...
Berger, defense layer
Christian Engelstoft ...
Journalist
Hallander Helleman ...
Franz
Halvard Hoff ...
Victor von Sendlingen
Jon Iversen ...
Weiden, Victorine's fiancé
Jacoba Jessen ...
Maika
Betty Kirkeby ...
Hermine Lippert
Carl Lauritzen ...
Priest
Axel Madsen ...
Werner
Carl Walther Meyer ...
(as Carl Meyer)
Peter Nielsen ...
Offentlig anklager
Fanny Petersen ...
Birgitta
Elith Pio ...
Franz Victors Vater
Olga Raphael-Linden ...
Victorine Lippert
Edit

Storyline

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. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

Release Date:

9 February 1920 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

O Presidente  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Carl Th. Dreyer: My Métier (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Danish blue-blood mellerdrammer
18 March 2009 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

This film by Carl Dreyer is titled 'The President' in the old-fashioned European sense of the word 'president': the title character is the presiding official of a European town; not quite the mayor, nor quite the chief magistrate. Like its title, this entire film is very much a product of the fading days of imperial Europe. The film's premise takes it for granted that aristocratic noblemen are somehow innately different from the common folk, with a different set of priorities, a different set of duties, and a different form of justice.

The film is set in 19th-century Denmark. The main plot is some hoo-ha about a greying blue-blood (Halvard Hoff) who must preside over the trial and sentence of a young governess (Olga Raphael-Linden) accused of murdering the child in her charge. The governess pleads guilty, but for some reason she's going to be put on trial anyway. (I know nothing about 19th-century Danish law; would a defendant who pleads guilty to a capital offence be made to stand trial?) The president abruptly learns that the governess is his own daughter, born of a tryst with a working-class woman whom he didn't marry due to their social disparity. Naturally, because this total stranger is his own daughter he must now intercede. What follows is mostly deepest bathos.

The action of this sprawling movie takes place over three generations. Two of the actors in this film (Hoff and Elith Pio) each play their characters at two radically different ages; unfortunately, the old-age makeup on these two young actors is very unconvincing. Also unconvincing is the hairpiece worn by Richard Christensen (the best actor in this film) as the governess's defence advocate. I was distressed that Christensen bears a striking resemblance to Michael Palin. Talking of makeup: the governess wears lip rouge in her death cell.

Whoever handled the set dressing on this movie should have cut down on the caffeine: one character's home is decorated with dozens of silhouette portraits, while another character's home is festooned with miniatures arranged in geometric patterns. The keys for the cells in the local prison are hung on a wall-rack shaped like a bat; it looks like it would have been more appropriate in Dreyer's film 'Vampyr'. One shot in this movie, depicting a servant seen only in shadow, reminded me of a famous shot in 'Vampyr'.

In all the long length of 'The President', Dreyer's camera hardly ever moves and always does so clumsily. Fortunately, Dreyer's static camera gives us some strikingly beautiful compositions. All of his exteriors are exquisitely framed and lighted. (I wonder if he used reflectors.) A few brief sequences are rather obviously shot day-for-night. I was impressed by one shot when lovers meet on a bridge; we see their reflections in the water rather than the lovers themselves.

There are a few weird lapses here. One character wears spectacles in medium-long shot, then Dreyer cuts to him in close-up and the spectacles are gone. The president's cook carries live terriers in a closed satchel with no airholes, to no ill effect. The cook is played by Fanny Petersen, who strongly resembles Beryl Mercer, one of the most annoying actresses in film history.

'The President' has many flaws, most notably a turgid and overly complicated storyline. However, Dreyer's directorial skill is manifest here, and most of his actors give good performances. I'll rate this deeply old-fashioned movie 6 out of 10.


3 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The President (1919) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?