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

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  24 April 1948 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 6,479 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.

0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Ordet (1955)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

People believe in the dead Christ, but not in the living.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Henrik Malberg, Emil Hass Christensen, Preben Lerdorff Rye
Gertrud (1964)
    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
Vampyr (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A traveler obsessed with the supernatural visits an old inn and finds evidence of vampires.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Julian West, Maurice Schutz, Rena Mandel
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A chronicle of the trial of Jeanne d'Arc on charges of heresy, and the efforts of her ecclesiastical jurists to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Maria Falconetti, Eugene Silvain, André Berley
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Victor Frandsen is a domestic tyrant. His wife Ida has to work as a slave for him and the rest of the family. She rises early to prepare everything for the day, she toils all day long, and ... See full summary »

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Johannes Meyer, Astrid Holm, Karin Nellemose
The River (1951)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Three adolescent girls growing up in Bengal, India, learn their lessons in life after falling for an older American soldier.

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Patricia Walters, Nora Swinburne, Esmond Knight
A Man Escaped (1956)
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Captured French Resistance fighter Andre Devigny awaits a certain death sentence for espionage in a stark Nazi prison. Facing malnourishment and paralyzing fear, he must engineer an ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: François Leterrier, Charles Le Clainche, Maurice Beerblock
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Georg Rydeberg, Wanda Rothgardt, Gabriel Alw
Pickpocket (1959)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Michel is released from jail after serving a sentence for thievery. His mother dies and he resorts to pickpocketing as a means of survival.

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: Martin LaSalle, Marika Green, Jean Pélégri
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young priest taking over the parish at Ambricourt tries to fulfill his duties even as he fights a mysterious stomach ailment.

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: Claude Laydu, Nicole Ladmiral, Jean Riveyre
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An aging doorman, after being fired from his prestigious job at a luxurious Hotel is forced to face the scorn of his friends, neighbours and society.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Emil Jannings, Maly Delschaft, Max Hiller
Ugetsu (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A fantastic tale of war, love, family and ambition set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyô, Kinuyo Tanaka


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 April 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Day of Wrath  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

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 »


When Absalon converses with Laurentius on his death bed, a microphone is visible at the top of the frame. See more »


Rev. Absalon Pederssøn: When I see those two together, I feel for the first time how old I am... And how young she is. It is good Martin came home. I will join them and be young with the young.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

2 September 2004 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

One of Dreyer's most accessible works; it has a dramatic story (witch hunting!) and still investigates the characters' morality and their relation to the world they exist in. This film is about the difference between life and the soul (the life that you live now and the soul of post-life, and the soul that fills your life as you live it), those at the stake and those on trial in the home, and the spells we cast on each other. When an accused witch confesses to being one to hopefully save her life (which doesn't happen) she threatens with witchery the man who won't save her. Obviously witches don't exist, but why, when sentenced to death, would she suddenly say she has a witch's power? To frighten him? Because she believes that she must be a witch, if others think she is? Or just to scare him? It's not clear. This is Dreyer's most overtly sexual film, where sex is a weapon (that eventually leads to a death); we see the relationship between the young girl, Anne, who falls in love with her much older husband's son (the same actor who played Johannes in Dreyer's next great film, "Ordet"), and, by the end of the film, we see that she has cast her spell on him, and is herself to be accused of being a witch.

Dreyer's films, which got more difficult as he got older, don't seem to have a date; certainly period pieces like this exist in a certain time, but put "Day of Wrath" next to "Gertrud" and you'd hardly notice a twenty year difference -- or few hundred years difference, in terms of the setting. And yet Dreyer's sense of place is almost unmatched, largely because of his simplicity: the costumes seem almost amateur, the acting is theatrical -- not so much in style, but in presentation (the actors seem to have been told where to stand and when). His films exist purely within this world he created, not minding the styles of the day; he's the truest of auteurs. He is also one of the great directors of women, and here elicits excellent performances from his entire cast (keeping in mind the date of production) but especially those of the two mothers in the film, the one who is put to the stake, and the other who is the mother to Anne's much older husband.

Despite the heavy seriousness of the religious beliefs in the film, Dreyer isn't religiously driven. He is driven by the soul, but these films are not the works of a fundamentalist. Dreyer looks at the actions of the characters, which are, at their worst, adultery and murder, and uses them as a moral, spiritual, and personal crisis in which to look for nothing less than meaning in life. 9/10

10 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Hell is other people. RagingR2
Choir 'Day of Wrath, Day of Mourning' jnkrnd
Marte's threats aahronheim
Questionable translations jeffhowardmeade
dreyer:video availabilty? Lilgogsy
Discuss Day of Wrath (1943) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: