After seeing D. W. Griffith's epic Intolerance, Denmark's greatest director, Carl Theodor Dreyer (The Passion of Joan of Arc, Vampyr), was inspired to make his own four-episode historical ... See full summary »
A man and a woman on a motorcycle arrive with a ferry to Assens. They want to catch the next ferry in Nyborg, on the other side of the island, but this ferry will leave in three quarters of... See full summary »
A young man is elected by a small village to be its parson. As part of his duties, he is required to marry the widow of the parson before him. This poses two problems--first, the widow is ... See full summary »
The judge in a Danish town sees his illegitimate daughter facing a trial for the murder of her newborn child, and is rather sure that she will be sentenced to death. She became pregnant ... See full summary »
Carl Theodor Dreyer
Carl Theodor Dreyer is a young journalist in Copenhagen when he gets involved in the early Danish film industry. He writes scripts and inter-titles, and for some years he is the main editor... See full summary »
Torben Skjødt Jensen
The Mothers' Aid is a state-funded institution with branches all over Denmark. Erna, a young pregnant woman, has asked a doctor to carry out an abortion, but instead he advised her to go to... See full summary »
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
Gertrud recounts a dream to Erland, where she was being chased by dogs and running through the forest naked. Later, when Gertrud falls ill and is escorted from the party, she is brought to a room where there is an enormous painting of a nude woman being attacked by dogs in a forest. See more »
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 »
Scandinavian sombreness has rarely been so devastatingly effective.
Dreyer's final film views as a testament to idealism, the desire to put love above everything else in life and the cruel reality which thwarts this. Gertrud is married to a wealthy lawyer, about to become a minister. However material wealth is all he can offer and spiritually she is starved. >
With a theatrical set-piece style characterized by long takes, Dreyer creates an intense and involving atmosphere. Passions are seen as the formative experiences in life in a society stifled by convention. Gertrud prefers nothing to having second best, she refuses to compromise her ideals. She resigns herself to a single life but retains in her mind the vibrancy of her chain of lost loves. A moving portrait of a strong woman. Scandinavian sombreness has rarely been so devastatingly effective.
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