In the elegant world of artists and musicians, Gertrud ends her marriage to Gustav and takes a lover, the composer Erland Jansson

Writers:

(play), (as Carl Th. Dreyer)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

3 wins. 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
Day of Wrath (1943)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 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)
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 8.4/10 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
Drama
    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
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 | History | Horror
    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
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
Late Spring (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
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 | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Catherine and Alexander, wealthy and sophisticated, drive to Naples to dispose of a deceased uncle's villa. There's a coolness in their relationship and aspects of Naples add to the strain.... See full summary »

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Ingrid Bergman, George Sanders, Maria Mauban
L'argent (1983)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A forged 500-franc note is cynically passed from person to person and shop to shop, until it falls into the hands of a genuine innocent who doesn't see it for what it is - which will have ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: Christian Patey, Sylvie Van den Elsen, Michel Briguet
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Nina Pens Rode ...
Gertrud Kanning
Bendt Rothe ...
Gustav Kanning
Ebbe Rode ...
Gabriel Lidman
...
Erland Jansson
Axel Strøbye ...
Axel Nygen
Karl Gustav Ahlefeldt
Vera Gebuhr ...
The Kannings' Maid
Lars Knutzon ...
Student orator
Anna Malberg ...
Kanning's mother
Edouard Mielche ...
The Rector Magnificus (as Edouard Mielché)
Edit

Storyline

In the elegant world of artists and musicians, Gertrud ends her marriage to Gustav and takes a lover, the composer Erland Jansson. When he also fails to live up to her idealistic standards, she leaves him and imposes on herself a kind of exile of the heart. In flashbacks and in conversations laced with memories, we also learn of her affair with Gabriel, who still wishes she would go off with him, and we learn of her adolescence, with its early expression of her isolating ideal of absolute love. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 June 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gertrud  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One of Lars von Trier's favorite films. See more »

Goofs

When Gertrud walks across the room in order to give Axel his letters back, the shadow from the camera and equipment can clearly be seen on the back wall. See more »

Quotes

Gertrud Kanning: I was thinking about your creed, remember?
Gabriel Lidman: I don't know what you mean.
Gertrud Kanning: No, one never remembers everything, but the creed went: 'I believe in the pleasure of the flesh and the irreparable loneliness of the soul.'
Gabriel Lidman: Oh yes. That sounds like me.
See more »


Soundtracks

Ich grolle nicht
(uncredited)
from "Dichterliebe, Op.48"
Words by Heinrich Heine (though, sung in Danish)
Music by Robert Schumann
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
9/10
9 October 2003 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

When you first start watching it, the film feels like a bad SNL sketch where the host hasn't memorized his lines, constantly looking at cue cards. The actors here are often speaking unemotionally about incredibly emotional subjects -- sometimes appropriately (fearing the other person's reaction), sometimes inexplicably -- and tend to never be looking in each other's eyes at the same time. The film is set up with long, hypnotic takes as a staged play, with the actors sometimes moving into new positions just to appear more stage-like. At first, it takes you out of the story -- it seems like inept filmmaking, but because we know it's deliberate (it's not shoddily made, just different) I stuck with it. It takes a few to get into the style and familiarize ourselves with the bareness; it's not so much that it's boring as that it's largely silent.

The characters exist both as mouthpieces for Carl Dreyer and as people in real situations. (Aside from Erland's naturalness and Gertrud's presence, you could say the acting is generally unpleasant.) They give lengthy speeches always, they pause, their movement and reactions are not authentic life behavior or "normal" film acting. Yet this film is one of the greatest examinations of marital commitment on film. But it's more than that. It's about knowing by experience, and big ideas nothing less than Womanhood and Love, the pleasure of the flesh that results in an ignoring of the soul, the path of the artist and an argument against fatalism. The film is like a dream where all your subconscious thoughts and conscious feelings are spoken openly and plainly, as if you're possessed. Everything is open; no one, not the characters or Dreyer, insults us with any unnecessary treats. I actually watched the movie with the lights on, purposely, so I wouldn't get absorbed in the story, so I could always be aware of what was really going on.

So it's about marriage and love and commitment on one simple level -- there's a joke about it, too: the opera Gertrud says she's going to is "Fidelio." Gertrud says she's leaving her husband; another man, Lidman, a celebrated poet, wants her; and she's having an affair with a young musician, Erland. The film is really a scrapbook for Dreyer's various theories. Gertrud tells Erland, the musician, to play a nocturne -- one of his own, though, not someone else's. Why copy or interpret someone else when you can be yourself? Sometimes you need someone like Gertrud (or Dreyer) to remind you of that simple truth. And it hits home because Dreyer is what he preaches. The characters are always talking directly to us -- a character begs Gertrud to elaborate, "Things are easier when one understands" (of course we don't), someone tells Gertrud, "How beautifully you sang. As if I had never heard the song before." Dreyer is talking about himself -- he's the artist showing us things we never saw before that we've been looking at all along.

The self-congratulatory tone that hammers us did try my patience, however. There is a musical procession for the poet, and they sing a song to his face about what a truthful artist he is, an artist who refuses false pathos, sentimentality, and derides the mediocre hidden underneath a shiny veneer. This is all fine and good, but Dreyer didn't have to make it so damn obvious he's talking about what a great artist he himself is. He could be a little more broad. He seems to be rubbing our faces in how inaccessible he knows his film will be -- the screen is constantly so bright that it whites out the actors' faces, and he has Gertrud at one point comment on the light hurting her eyes. That's my small quibble that prevents me from giving this a ten, but I wouldn't argue with those who call it a masterpiece. Myself, I rank this among my essential movies for "life," movies you return to every few years that will (or at least should) stay new, because they're about human ideas and nothing else. They may not give answers, but they deepen our feeling and understanding about life's simplest issues in very profound ways. 9/10


10 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
why is nobody speaking up? dmworthingto
It's not a zombie movie? jamwood
Why do the characters rarely have direct eye contact? maasoumy
The Gertrud Drinking Game Challenge sandermn
Discuss Gertrud (1964) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?