Up 17,978 this week

Der var engang (1922)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 189 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 1 critic

Add a Plot

0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 100 titles
created 25 Jan 2012
a list of 19 titles
created 15 Apr 2012
a list of 1120 titles
created 05 May 2012
a list of 22 titles
created 31 May 2012
a list of 291 titles
created 11 Jun 2013

Related Items

Search for "Der var engang" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Der var engang (1922)

Der var engang (1922) on IMDb 6.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Der var engang.


Credited cast:
Clara Pontoppidan ...
The Princess of Illyria (as Clara Wieth)
Svend Methling ...
Peter Jerndorff ...
The King
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hakon Ahnfelt-Rønne ...
Kasper Røghat
Mohamed Archer ...
Bodil Faber ...
Wilhelmine Henriksen ...
Doktor Dorthe
Lili Lani ...
Henry Larsen ...
Frederik Leth ...
Schiøler Linck ...
Papegöje Kammerherren
Gerda Madsen
Lars Madsen ...
Torben Meyer ...
Karen Poulsen ...


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis




Release Date:

3 October 1922 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Once Upon a Time  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The recent DVD of the extant portions of this film, produced by the Danish Film Institute for sale to the public - though playable only in the European Region - reveals it is based on an operetta, which in turn was based on Shakespeare's "The Taming Of The Shrew". The first third (almost all of the sequences in the castle) survives, followed by a series of takes of low comedy [prince's servant and kitchen maids] scenes, followed by the last segment of the film (the forest scenes). Anywhere from ten minutes to half an hour is missing in the middle of the film. No shooting script or review exists so timing is not certain. The DVD runs for about 75 minutes and is all we have left of the film. This information was derived from Jean and Dale Drum's biography of Carl Dreyer: MY ONLY GREAT PASSION. See more »


Featured in Ved den danske films vugge (1941) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Fairy Tale Is Combined With A Serious Moral

Sometimes-though not often-you find an aristocrat who behaves improperly and in a bizarre way not in keeping their privileged condition. It would seem that strange conduct among aristocrats is not uncommon in Denmark as some English playwright wrote some centuries back. Such odd behaviour can also be found in the film "Der Var Engang" (Once Upon A Time) directed by Herr Carl Theodor Dreyer in the silent year of 1922.

The film depicts the case of the Prince of Denmark who travels to the land of Illyria where lives a princess who knows pretty well her exalted role and acts accordingly, a capricious and spoiled royal who rejects one by one all her suitors and certainly the Prince of Denmark wouldn't be an exception for her.

Annoyed by this and smitten with the royal brat, the Prince of Denmark decides to teach her a lesson with the help of his assistant, called "Smokehat". The Prince will disguise himself as a commoner in his plan to win the princess' heart.

"Der Var Engang" was an adaptation of a play by Herr Holger Drachmann that was very popular in Denmark and the film captures the fairytale atmosphere, especially during the first half of the picture in which there is much subtle humour that makes good use of Danish folklore and is supported by astonishing art direction and beautiful bucolic scenery.

In the second half of the film things take a new turn with the luxurious fairytale setting and the easy life at the palace disappearing as the Princess learns of real life and must endure the perils and hardships of commoners. Far from the safety of the palace, she learns humility, forgets her pride and finally falls in love.

Although almost half of the film is lost, the surviving footage is well supported by still photos to make up a complete narrative, a great restoration by the Danish Film Institute giving the opportunity to silent film fans around the world to see a very different type of Herr Dreyer work in which a fairy tale is combined with a serious moral, the latter being more characteristic of the Dreyer films that were to come.

And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must continue to behave as a true Teutonic aristocrat.

Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Der var engang (1922) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: