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

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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:
Criterion uncovers a gem 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:
To achieve the scene in which the witches are flying over the roofs of the town, Benjamin Christensen and his cameraman Johan Ankerstjerne photographed a miniature town (with each house about 2 meters in height) on an enormous turntable, which operated manually and took the strength of 20 men to operate. Then, several costumed actors were photographed on broomsticks against a black background. To make the heavy costumes ripple in the "wind" Christiansen brought in an airplane motor. A total of 75 witches were photographed, each individually, and a special optical printer was built by Ankerstjerne to put them together (only about three of four appear on the screen at one time). The construction of a model town was decided upon after test footage proved the original idea of shooting from a movie train was a bad one, as too many modern structures, not to mention telephone poles and wires, were unavoidable. The test footage survives and is superimposed with Christiansen seated in a chair, acting out the part of a witch.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: The kleptomaniac and the jeweler enter through a door on the right-hand side of the room. In the next shot, they are standing on the left side on the room, and the objects on the shelf behind them have changed position. The shot in which they enter is flipped (look closely at the buttons on the actors' clothes).See more »
Quotes:
Title Card:Centuries have passed and the Almighty of medieval times no longer sits in his tenth sphere.
Title Card:We no longer sit in church staring terrified at the frescoes of the devils.
Title Card:The witch no longer flies away on her broom over the rooftops.
Title Card:But isn't superstition still rampant among us?
Title Card:Is there an obvious difference between the sorceress and her customer then and now?
Title Card:We no longer burn our old and poor. But do they not often suffer bitterly?
Title Card:And the little woman, whom we call hysterical, alone and unhappy, isn't she still a riddle for us?
[...]
See more »

FAQ

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17 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Criterion uncovers a gem, 26 June 2003
Author: smitchell-1 from USA

I found this 1922 "documentary" to be amazing in it's inovative and creative portrayal of witchcraft in the middle ages. Scenes of nudity and torture made this film very controversial in 1922 and caused it to be banned as well as greatly edited in later versions. Criterion has done a great job of preserving the film as it was intended to be seen with censored footage restored, an excellent tinted print, a corrected "projection" speed, a new score that recreates the music played at the original Danish premiere, and some interesting extras. The 1968 William Burroughs narrarated version is also included here and it's pretty ridiculous. The jazz soundtrack is just so very wrong. But still, it's interesting to see, kind of like the "Love Conquers All" version of Brazil. I think that anyone who is interested in film and film history will find this dvd facinating.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (63 total) »

Message Boards

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
I thought it was great leonw-hunt
Haxan at Big Ears 2015 ikester8
Kiss the devil's ass kevayreski
Amazing ArthurEld
Burroughs commented version samuelsebastian
Soundtrack? brightboy88
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