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

 -  Drama  -  24 April 1948 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 5,570 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 63 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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Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Kirsten Andreasen ...
(uncredited)
Sigurd Berg ...
(uncredited)
Harald Holst ...
(uncredited)
...
The Bishop (uncredited)
Emanuel Jørgensen ...
(uncredited)
Sophie Knudsen ...
(uncredited)
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 ...
(uncredited)
Thorkild Roose ...
Rev. Absalon Pederssøn (uncredited)
Anna Svierkier ...
Herlofs Marte (uncredited)
Hans Christian Sørensen ...
(uncredited)
Olaf Ussing ...
Laurentius (uncredited)
Edit

Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 April 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Day of Wrath  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Rev. Absalon Pederssøn: There is nothing so quiet as a heart that has ceased to beat.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Deep religious drama from one of the greatest directors
25 September 2007 | by (Xanadu) – See all my reviews

This is a movie that tackles so many issues I can hardly find the words to comment on it in a limited amount of space. Dreyer has got to be one of the greatest directors ever. Regardless of the story and the "philosphy" behind his movies his style of composition is amazing. Just as Picasso was able to create a masterpiece with one strike of the brush, Dreyer makes a perfect shot with only minimal but perfect directing. Nothing is ever misplaced, the camera cuts only when it is strictly necessary, the actors seem to be pulled by strings to achieve a perfect feeling of position within the frame, the general environment, even if simple is there for a purpose.

The story, placed in 17th century Denmark is not only revealing for that period and for 1943 (when Denmark was occupied by the Nazis)but for any age, just like Seventh Seal or Winter Light. Bergman definitely comes to mind when watching this. But unlike the Sweedish director whose arguments against the Church and his feeling of despair caused by the death of God are pervasive, Dreyer is more ambiguous. In the first part of the film you could say that he makes everything possible to show us religious bigotry and its devastating consequences. But from this he does not make a case, such as Bunuel for instance, against the Church itself. And by the end of the movie you are aware that the problems are so intertwined that no one, not even a great director or novelist or whatever can make a case either for one side or the other, that is either for God or against him. With his attitude Dreyer reminded me in a way of Dostoievsky whose characters are also ambiguous and can never quite make up their minds if one is to simply believe without questioning or question without believing.

As far as movie making goes I can find nothing wrong with this, and since the story moved me so deeply I can only give it a ten.


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