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In the middle of the 19th century, Kristina and Karl-Oskar live in a small rural village in Smaaland (southern Sweden). They get married and try to make a living on a small spot of land. However, the small size of their land, the infertile soil, and some bad harvests makes it tough. One of their children even starve to death. Thus, they decide to emigrate to the U.S. They meet a group of farmers with their families planing the emigration under the leadership of a banned priest. They sell everything and embark for the U.S. The journey on the sailing ship is long and tedious. Some of the emigrants will never reach the New World. Written by
Gerhard Windecker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When filming the scene towards the end, where Karl Oskar walks off to find a better place for his settlement, director Jan Troell forgot to yell, "Cut." Max von Sydow just kept walking and walking, waiting for a "cut", and nobody realized until they took lunch. See more »
On the train west a character shows an American silver coin and yells out it has "In God We Trust" on it. The scene is the 1850s and the motto was not added to American silver coins until 1867. See more »
If we refrained, I mean, then there won't be any more children.
Refrain? For the rest of our lives? Would we keep ourselves from each other for all our days? I would never be able to, Kristina. Not until I'm so old that spruce moss begins to grow in my beard.
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Even without 40 minutes of its original running time (trimmed by the idiots at Warner Brothers, who couldn't see American audiences sitting through a 3-hour film), "The Emigrants" is one of the greatest films ever made in Sweden - and probably the finest so far about the immigrant experience.
Troell's film was also the most expensive production to date (1971) in Sweden, which outraged many Swedes and made them attack the film quite unfairly. Box Office receipts worldwide, however, persuaded Hollywood that Troell was "bankable" and gave him a few shots at at fame and fortune ("Zandy's Bride" and "The Hurricane" - the latter to have been directed by Roman Polanski just prior to his banishment from America). Luckily, Troell failed in Hollywood and went back to Sweden.
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