Day of Wrath (1943)
"Vredens dag" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  24 April 1948 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 6,475 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 66 critic

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.

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Uncredited cast:
Kirsten Andreasen ...
Sigurd Berg ...
Harald Holst ...
The Bishop (uncredited)
Emanuel Jørgensen ...
Sophie Knudsen ...
Preben Lerdorff Rye ...
Martin (Absalon's son from first marriage) (uncredited)
Lisbeth Movin ...
Anne Pedersdotter (Absalon's second wife) (uncredited)
Preben Neergaard ...
Degn (uncredited)
Sigrid Neiiendam ...
Merete (Absalon's mother) (uncredited)
Emilie Nielsen ...
Thorkild Roose ...
Rev. Absalon Pederssøn (uncredited)
Anna Svierkier ...
Herlofs Marte (uncredited)
Hans Christian Sørensen ...
Olaf Ussing ...
Laurentius (uncredited)


In a 17th-century Danish village, an old woman is accused of witchcraft. In the shadow of her flight, capture, confession, and burning at the stake, the young wife of the town's aging pastor falls in love with the pastor's son. Her confession of this illicit affair to her husband brings on her husband's death. At the funeral the pastor's mother denounces the young widow as a witch. Will the widow's lover come to her defense, or has the day of wrath returned? Written by <>

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

24 April 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Day of Wrath  »

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Though the film is outwardly a chronicle of a religious witch-hunt, it contained many subtler comparisons to the behavior of the Nazis (torture and questioning) and Carl Theodor Dreyer fled Denmark for Sweden where he remained until the war was over. See more »


Just before Martin kisses Anne for the first time, she is standing with her back to the window as Martin approaches her. In the next shot, she is standing facing the window when Martin touches her shoulder. See more »


Anne Pedersdotter: I see through my tears, but no one comes to wipe them away.
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Featured in Carl Th. Dreyer (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

Strong Look at Religion and Love
12 September 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Day of Wrath (1943)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Carl Theodor Dreyer's dark tale about a Reverend (Thorkild Roose) who allows a woman to be burned at the stake for being a witch only to eventually lose his much younger wife (Lisbeth Movin) to his own son (Preben Lerdorff Rye). I've been quite critical of the director with some of his movies and I've always been honest in saying that there's just something about his style that doesn't always work for me but I found DAY OF WRATH to be a completely compelling picture that pretty much grabs you from the start and doesn't let go. I know a lot of people, myself included, has complained about the director's sometimes slow pacing and that slowness is here again but I think it really helps this picture. I really liked the slow start of the picture dealing with the elderly woman who feels that the reverend should spare her life. I thought this led to some interesting situations and in one of the best scenes in the film, the wife questions why or how anyone could be given so much power. I also really enjoyed the middle section of the film dealing with the relationship between the wife and son. At first I was really wondering how on Earth these two could have fallen in love so fast and especially since we didn't see it happen but I think this here pays off towards the end of the picture. The three lead actors all do a terrific job in their part and I was especially impressed with Movin as I found her to be incredibly touching in her role as well as highly seductive. The beautiful cinematography is another major plus for the film and I really loved the use of darkness and shadows. DAY OF WRATH is a very open and honest look at religion and love and I think it ranks as one of the director's best films.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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