8.2/10
10,388
50 user 55 critic

Ordet (1955)

Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy | 10 January 1955 (Denmark)
Follows the lives of the Borgen family, as they deal with inner conflict, as well as religious conflict with one and other, and the rest of the town. The various events that unfold throughout the film tests all of their faith and beliefs.

Writer:

(play)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Gertrud (1964)
Drama | Romance
    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
Day of Wrath (1943)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Thorkild Roose, Lisbeth Movin, Sigrid Neiiendam
Vampyr (1932)
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A drifter obsessed with the supernatural stumbles upon an inn where a severely ill adolescent girl is slowly becoming a vampire.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Julian West, Maurice Schutz, Rena Mandel
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 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
L'Atalante (1934)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Newly married couple Juliette and a ship captain Jean struggle through marriage as they travel on the L'atalante along with the captain's first mate Le père Jules and a cabin boy.

Director: Jean Vigo
Stars: Dita Parlo, Jean Dasté, Michel Simon
Ugetsu (1953)
Drama | Fantasy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

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

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyô, Kinuyo Tanaka
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of a mistreated donkey and the people around him. A study on saintliness and a sister piece to Bresson's Mouchette.

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: Anne Wiazemsky, Walter Green, François Lafarge
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Captured French Resistance fighter Lieutenant Fontaine 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
Drama
    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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In medieval Japan, a compassionate governor is sent into exile. His wife and children try to join him, but are separated, and the children grow up amid suffering and oppression.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Yoshiaki Hanayagi, Kyôko Kagawa
Banshun (1949)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Noriko is twenty-seven years old and still living with her widowed father. Everybody tries to talk her into marrying, but Noriko wants to stay at home caring for her father.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Chishû Ryû, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka
L'Avventura (1960)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A woman disappears during a Mediterranean boating trip. During the search, her lover and her best friend become attracted to each other.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Gabriele Ferzetti, Monica Vitti, Lea Massari
Edit

Cast

Uncredited cast:
Hanne Aagesen ...
Karen (uncredited)
Kirsten Andreasen ...
(uncredited)
Sylvia Eckhausen ...
Kirstin Petersen (uncredited)
Birgitte Federspiel ...
Inger Borgen (uncredited)
Ejner Federspiel ...
Peter Petersen (uncredited)
Ann Elisabeth Groth ...
Maren Borgen (uncredited)
Emil Hass Christensen ...
Mikkel Borgen (uncredited)
Cay Kristiansen ...
Anders Borgen (uncredited)
Preben Lerdorff Rye ...
Johannes Borgen (uncredited)
Henrik Malberg ...
Morten Borgen (uncredited)
Gerda Nielsen ...
Anne Petersen (uncredited)
Ove Rud ...
Pastor (uncredited)
Susanne Rud ...
Lilleinger Borgen (uncredited)
Henry Skjær ...
The Doctor (uncredited)
Edith Trane ...
Mette Maren (uncredited)
Edit

Storyline

How do we understand faith and prayer, and what of miracles? August 1925 on a Danish farm. Widowed Patriarch Borgen, who's rather prominent in his community, has three sons: Mikkel, a good-hearted agnostic whose wife Inger is pregnant, Johannes, who believes he is Jesus, and Anders, young, slight, in love with the tailor's daughter. The fundamentalist sect of the girl's father is anathema to Borgen's traditional Lutheranism; he opposes the marriage until the tailor forbids it, then Borgen's pride demands that it happen. Unexpectedly, Inger, who is the family's sweetness and light, has problems with her pregnancy. The rational doctor arrives, and a long night brings sharp focus to at least four views of faith. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the creator of "Day of Wrath" See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 January 1955 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Ordet  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Quotes

Inger Borgen: I believe a lot of little miracles happen secretly.
See more »

Connections

Version of Ordet (1943) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A totally sincere, deeply moving, and unforgettable work of art.
6 May 2002 | by (Vancouver, B.C.) – See all my reviews

Since I first saw this film when I was 18, Ordet (The Word) has remained as one of my top five favorites.

Ordet is an allegory about the power of simple, direct faith to produce results when every other means fail. Based on a 1944 play by a Danish priest who was killed by the Nazis, the great Danish Director Carl Dreyer dramatizes this faith in the form of a Christian miracle which provides healing for an entire family in crisis.

The transformation, when it occurs, takes place through the purity and innocence of a child, the direct personal experience of God, and the redemptive power of love. Ordet is almost Bressonian in its depiction of grace through suffering (Balthazar) and purity (Diary of a Country Priest). Dreyer shows two families, one steeped in a fundamentalist faith, the other with a Christian faith that lacks real power or conviction. Dreyer creates a moody, atmospheric, almost dreamlike rural setting, using light and shadow to contrast a life-affirming attitude with one that denies joy.

Mikkel Borgen, one of three brothers, whose wife Inger is giving birth to their third child, has denied faith completely. Another brother, Anders, is in love with and wants to marry the daughter of Peter the tailor, a fundamentalist preacher who refuses the relationship because of Anders' religion. Peter goes so far as to wish that Inger would die giving birth if it will teach the family a lesson. The third brother, Johannes, has "lost his mind" studying Kierkegaard and believes he is Christ reincarnated.

The movie has a long and very slow, almost agonizing buildup until the final scene which, when it comes, is one of the most moving and powerful climaxes in cinema. Whether or not you adhere to the message of Ordet from a strictly religious point of view or not, Ordet, for me, is a truly religious experience. Do I think the power of intention and love can bring someone back from the dead? No, probably not. There is too much of an inexorable quality about the final transition.

I think that the film is best viewed as an allegory contrasting people who live in their mind and not their experience and feel powerless to change their lives, with people who know that they have the ability to transform the quality of their life and the lives of those around them.

Ordet, ultimately, is about the difference between looking for God through a belief system while failing to see God within you and around you. How did Johannes achieve this power? He simply asks. Johannes remembers that Christ said, "Ask and you shall receive", and asks with a profound faith in the outcome. The others, so caught up in their "beliefs", simply forget to ask. How often does the opportunity to make a difference seem so far from our grasp that we don't bother to ask?

Ordet, for me, is a totally sincere, deeply moving, and unforgettable work of art.


59 of 67 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?