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Gertrud (1964)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  2 June 1966 (USA)
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In the elegant world of artists and musicians, Gertrud ends her marriage to Gustav and takes a lover, the composer Erland Jansson


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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 June 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gertrud  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


Gertrud Kanning: When I understood it all, then my heart grew old.
See more »


Referenced in Kinomagazin: Carl Th. Dreyer und 'Gertrud' (1994) See more »


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

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User Reviews

A rather sad ending to a long career.
5 April 2015 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Carl Theodor Dreyer was a very odd sort of filmmaker. Although he had a very long career, the time between films was often very long-- sometimes a decade or so as is the case with "Gertrud". He apparently liked to do things his way or not at all. Regardless, "Gertrud" is his final film--completed just a few years before his death. Because of this, you would hope it would be an excellent film, as he did make quite a few classics. Sadly, though, the movie is just dreadful--- the sort of pretentious and boring drivel some artsy folks might like but also the sort of film that most people would truly hate.

The story is very simple. Although you might think Gertrud would be happy since she has a husband that loves her and money, she is filled with ennui. She instead wants a young lover and to cast aside conventions and run off with him. Erland, on the other hand, just wants another notch on his bedpost. Soon after sleeping with Erland, she meets an old lover, Gabriel. Unlike Erland, he wants her. However, instead, she leaves her husband and Gabriel and lives alone.

If this sort of story sounds interesting, believe me, it is NOT. There are so many problems that conspire to make this a bore-fest. First, the performances are underplayed to say the least. The characters really DON'T talk and interact--especially Gertrud. Instead, they talk out into space and these scenes are often filled with folks also staring blankly. Second, nothing interesting happens in the film nor does it really make a lot of sense. Third, you really don't care about anyone. Fourth, it's full of nonsense lines such as 'Love is is suffering', where do I even begin to start with claptrap dialog like this?! Overall, it's an artsy-fartsy mess of a film--one that left me wondering why Dreyer would make this as his ultimate creation.

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