IMDb > Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922)
Häxan
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Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922) More at IMDbPro »Häxan (original title)

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Overview

User Rating:
7.7/10   6,457 votes »
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Release Date:
27 May 1929 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Benjamin Christensens stora film.
Plot:
A historical view of witchcraft in seven parts and a variety of styles. First, there is a slide-show... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Out of all the silent films I've seen, this is probably the most bizarre both visually and conceptually See more (63 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Maren Pedersen ... Heksen / The Witch
Clara Pontoppidan ... Nonne / Nun
Elith Pio ... Heksedommer / Witch Judge (The Young Monk)
Oscar Stribolt ... Graabroder / Doctor (The Fat Monk)
Tora Teje ... En hysterisk kvinde / Modern Hysteric (The Kelptomaniac)
John Andersen ... Chief Inquisitor (as Johs Andersen)
Benjamin Christensen ... Djævlen / The Devil
Poul Reumert ... Juveler / Jeweler
Karen Winther ... Anna
Kate Fabian ... Gammel jomfru / Old Maid
Else Vermehren ... Nonne / Nun
Astrid Holm ... Anna
Johannes Andersen ... Heksedommer / Witch Judge
Gerda Madsen ... Nonne / Nun
Aage Hertel ... Heksedommer / Witch Judge
Ib Schønberg ... Heksedommer / Witch Judge
Emmy Schønfeld ... Marie, the Seamstress (as Emmy Schönfeld)
Frederik Christensen ... Borger / Citizen (as Frederick Christensen)
Ella La Cour ... Troldkvinde / Magician (as Ella la Cour)
Elisabeth Christensen ... En ældre bondekone / Older Farm Lady (as Elizabeth Christensen)
Henry Seemann ... Borger / Citizen
Alice O'Fredericks ... Nonne / Nun
Knud Rassow ... Anatomen

William S. Burroughs ... Narrator (1968 re-release) (voice) (as William Burroughs)
Ellen Rassow ... En tjenestepige / Maid
Holst Jørgensen ... Ole Kighul
H.C. Nielsen ... Juveler assistent / Jeweler's Assistant
Albrecht Schmidt ... Nervelæge / Neurologist
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Karina Bell ... Nun (uncredited)
Karen Caspersen ... Unidentified (uncredited)
Holger Pedersen ... Unidentified (uncredited)

Directed by
Benjamin Christensen 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Benjamin Christensen 

Original Music by
Matti Bye (restored version: 2006)
Launy Grøndahl 
Daniel Humair (1968)
Emil Reesen (1941)
Art Zoyd (1997)
 
Cinematography by
Johan Ankerstjerne 
 
Film Editing by
Edla Hansen 
 
Art Direction by
Richard Louw 
 
Set Decoration by
Richard Louw 
 
Art Department
L. Mathiesen .... art department assistant
Helge Norél .... art department assistant
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Rudolf Frederiksen .... assistant camera
 
Music Department
Daniel Humair .... musician: percussion (1968 re-release)
Bernard Lubat .... musician: piano organ (1968 re-release)
Guy Pedersen .... musician: double bass (1968 re-release)
Jean-Luc Ponty .... musician: violin (1968 re-release)
Michel Portal .... musician: flute (1968 re-release)
 
Other crew
Antony Balch .... re-release producer (1968 sound re-release)
Paul Brewer .... unspecified assistant (1968 release)
Norman Glass .... unspecified assistant (1968 re-release)
Alice O'Fredericks .... script girl
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Häxan" - Sweden (original title)
"The Witches" - USA (informal title)
See more »
Runtime:
91 min | Sweden:87 min | USA:77 min (1968 re-release) | 104 min (DVD version) | Argentina:87 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Black and White (Sepiatone)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:(Banned) (1923) | Sweden:15 | UK:15 (1994) | UK:X (1968) | USA:Not Rated
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The Swedish film censors required numerous cuts in the film, before authorizing its release. Among the censored scenes were the closeup of the finger being removed from the hanged man's hand, the trampling of the cross in the witch's sabbath scene, the shot of the oozing infant held over a cooking pot, a closeup of a woman's face while she is on a torture rack, closeups of several instruments of torture being employed, and a shot of a demon embracing a nude woman (all these shots have since been restored to the film).See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: The monk drains his wine glass. When he chases the maid round the table in the next shot it is half full.See more »
Quotes:
Title Card:Poor little hysterical witch! In the middle ages you were in conflict with the church. Now it is with the law.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in God Damn Religion (2008) (V)See more »

FAQ

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Out of all the silent films I've seen, this is probably the most bizarre both visually and conceptually, 22 October 2006
Author: TheMarquisDeSuave from Worcester, MA

Out of all the silent films I've seen, this is probably the most bizarre both visually and conceptually. A mockumentory and a mondo movie long before either became popular, this purports to explain the phenomenon of witchcraft as being a result of diseased and primitive minds. It provides many scenes as evidence, not to mention some scientific explaining. Its the contrast between the different type of segments that make this film the most unique and avant-garde. The scenes themselves are still among the most surreal ever caught on film. Overall, this is a very disorienting experience, possibly the first psychedelic film (over forty years before such tendencies became popular). For those reasons, it has secured status as an enduring cult classic.

I can not decide upon a single segment as my favorite. The opening explaining man's scientific and supernatural attempts to explain the world throughout the ages (complete with fascinating vintage woodcuts of witchcraft) is one of my favorites. Plus, the midnight ride of the witches on their brooms to meet up with Satan and sacrifice babies takes the clichéd notion of witchcraft to new surrealist heights. The shocking imagery unsurprisingly caused a lot of controversy. For a silent film (even for one made in Sweden and before the moral reform of cinema in the next decade), there are considerable quantities of both nudity and blasphemy. Its more of an attack on the Catholic church than on witchcraft. This is probably why it wasn't released to the states until 1968.

This isn't a perfect film by any means. Its not boring, but is slowly paced and may take two viewings to get through (this isn't recommended though). However, it is so consistently bizarre that your eyes are glued to the screen. For fans of vintage psychotronic cinema, this is a must-see as it is one of the earliest psychotronic films that I know of. It's also a fascinating avant-garde style of film-making that was a few decades ahead of its time. There's a version narrated by William S. Burroughs, but even though I am a massive fan of the Commisoner of the Sewers himself, I'd much rather watch the film as it was intended. The print on the Criterion DVD looks beautiful considering the age and the history of the film. (7/10)

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Kiss the devil's ass kevayreski
Amazing ArthurEld
Burroughs commented version samuelsebastian
Soundtrack? brightboy88
Where can i get this PAL? mowgli_07
Beautiful Interior Shots jenniferrmail-snailmail
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