8.2/10
10,659
50 user 57 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 each other, and the rest of the town.

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 7.5/10 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
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
Ordet (1943)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Director: Gustaf Molander
Stars: Victor Sjöström, Holger Löwenadler, Rune Lindström
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A captured French Resistance fighter during WWII engineers a daunting escape from prison.

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: François Leterrier, Charles Le Clainche, Maurice Beerblock
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
Pickpocket (1959)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 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
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
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
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:

A Legend for Today 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

The actress who plays Inger, had the audio of herself in labor and it was used during the difficult birth scene in the movie. See more »

Quotes

Morten Borgen: Have I ever been in love? At least ten times.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Notre musique (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Demanding melodrama which may reward concentration.
21 December 2000 | by (dublin, ireland) – See all my reviews

'Ordet', even by Dreyer standards, is a gruelling experience, but in a different way from 'the Passion of Joan of Arc', which, with almost sadistic intensity, thrust the viewer into a visceral pummelling, dragging the spiritual out of us. 'Ordet' is more typically Scandanavian, based on a play by Kaj Munk, a cleric-playwright murdered by the Gestapo during the Nazi Occupation of Denmark.

Its austerity and rigour are reminiscent of Bergman, without that director's lapses (i.e. audience-friendly gestures) into sensation. Like Bergman, Dreyer makes no attempts to hide the theatrical origins of his material - most of the action takes place in austere interiors that even look like sets in their oppressive spaciousness, just as you can hear the boards being trod. There are no harrowing close ups a la 'Passion' here; the camera keeps an unblinking distance throughout, as if we were watching a play in the theatre. The performances make no concessions to film acting, keeping a stern solemnity as they utter their tersely simple dialogue.

So why would Dreyer, one of the five greatest film directors of all time, make such a seemingly uncinematic picture? Part of the answer probably derives from the film's theme, that of faith and miracles. Although the film is as restrained and grim as you would expect from a Scandanavian work, the content is actually full of barely suppressed passion.

The situation and plots are straight out of classic 19th century realist literature - a stubbornly proud landowner refuses to let his youngest son marry a wealthy neighbour because of religious differences; his eldest son goes mad from studying too much theology, hoping to fulfil his father's messianic dreams, under the delusion that he is Jesus, with beard too match, although a joyless, Old-Testament kind of prophet-Jesus; another son has renounced his faith, disgusted with the daily evidence of God's indifference; his pious wife loses her baby in childbirth.

Material ripe for hothouse treatment. And yet Dreyer's reticence never lets it descend into 'Elmer Gantry'isms. The film works as a study in loneliness, in the limited options open to people in isolated outposts made rigid by tradition, religion, culture etc. Dreyer makes a virtue of the theatrical material: his use of doorways, his patterning of entries and exits, his positioning of characters, his calm yet insistent panning all created this sense of something being held in, ready to burst.

The film opens with a brilliantly orchestrated sequence, which introduces the characters, their dilemmas and their milieu, with a simple, yet intricate pattern, as each family member searches for the missing mad brother, a man linked to nature, the light and the dunes. his strictures are hard to take, and yet he is the one with the special knowledge and the miraculous power.

I'm not averse to miracles in cinema. I just found this one a little hard to take (it would certainly never have been produced in a Catholic country - Mother surviving baby? An outrage!). I prefer the way Dreyer turns the rare modern intrusions in the film, the doctor's car for instance, into a scary, almost medieval vision of death in motion; or the chillingly glum view of village life, in a film that keeps implicating the social only to drive it out. I guess you've got to have some knowledge of the theological background.


28 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?