How do we understand faith and prayer, and what of miracles? August 1925 on a Danish farm. Patriarch Borgen has three sons: Mikkel, a good-hearted agnostic whose wife Inger is pregnant, ... See full summary »
Carl Theodor Dreyer
Emil Hass Christensen,
Preben Lerdorff Rye
Oliver's mother, a penniless outcast, died giving birth to him. As a young boy Oliver is brought up in a workhouse, later apprenticed to an uncaring undertaker, and eventually is taken in ... See full summary »
James A. Marcus,
"Tiger" Haynes (Chaney) is a animal trapper in China who lives with his beautiful daughter, Toyo (Velez). Toyo soon becomes romantically involved with Bobby (Hughes), who turns out to be ... See full summary »
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 »
Paul Javal is a writer who is hired to make a script for a new movie about Ulysses more commercial, which is to be directed by Fritz Lang and produced by Jeremy Prokosch. But because he let... See full summary »
In the nineteenth century, seventeen year old Effi Briest is married to the older Baron von Instetten and moves into a house, that she believes has a ghost, in a small isolated Baltic town.... See full summary »
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Melrose's circus is being threatened by his competitor, who's angry that Melrose has outmanuevered him in bookings; what he doesn't know is that the competitor has also planted a saboteur ... See full summary »
Erle C. Kenton
'Little Billy' Rhodes
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 »
The gardener has been told that only grass shall grow on my grave and in springtime I shall have anemones. You'll come by one day, pick an anemone and think of me. Take it as a word of love that was thought, but never spoken.
See more »
Woman vows to live in uncompromising bliss or gloom
Cinema Great Carl Dreyer's final film is said to be his masterpiece as well. The innovative b&w cinematography, featuring only a handful, drawn out scenes in confined spaces, makes use of mirrors, shadows and suggested action. The story begins ca. 1900, studying several characters in depth. Gertrud, the wife of a wealthy lawyer with political aspirations, feels unappreciated by her work-consumed husband. The viewer quickly learns that Gertrud is about to end what appeared to be years of boredom as the "attache" of a man who lives mainly for his secular accomplishments. Despite his protests and assurances that he couldn't live without her, she leaves to see a lover.
Drawn to men of the arts, Gertrud herself was once a celebrated opera singer. A lengthy love affair with a man who later becomes a nationally honored poet, left the jilted author heart broken. Another man, a pioneer in the field of psychiatry, becomes Gertrud's friend and confidante, but never a lover.
The story, via flashbacks, present action and time scan forward shows Gertrud's entire adult life. The final scene offers somewhat of an explanation for why this woman has seemingly denied herself any true happiness. The men who offered her everything, even with the greatest possible concessions on their part, were told not to bother. Gertrud's extreme sense of pride, as noticed by a young musical genius who sees her as a convenient fling, leaves no wavering of the determined mind.
If this film appeared to be scandalous in 1964, how would society view this kind of real activity in the early 1900s? A strong sense of "truth", as a philosopher may call it, will always override any kind of compromise. "Love is all", the only words on Gertrud's head stone. There must be more to life than strict adherence to an ideology, especially at the high cost. A critically acclaimed film, "Gertrud" nonetheless lacks entertainment value due to its fatalistic story telling
15 of 19 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?