An adaptation of Gustav Wied's nineteenth century novel about a baron who takes a young bride, but reacts brutally when she is not faithful to him.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jens Okking ...
Baron Helmuth
Helle Hertz ...
Baroness Alvilda
Bodil Udsen ...
Dowager Baroness Juliane
Stefan Ekman ...
Count Scheele
Poul Reichhardt ...
Vicar Adolf Mascani
Birgit Sadolin ...
Johanne Mascani
Stine Bierlich ...
Anne Marie Helger ...
Frøken Jansen
Masja Dessau ...
Clara Mascani
Allan Olsen ...
Otte Svendsen ...
Tjener Niels
Folmer Rubæk ...
Forvalter Rasmus
Ulla Lock ...
Inger Stender ...
Judy Gringer ...


Denmark in the nineteenth century. Baron Helmuth von Leunbach returns home from Copenhagen with a young bride, Alvilda, who has a daughter from a previous marriage. The baron's widowed mother dominates her son and, weary of the misfortune of their lineage, disapproves of his character, but sees promise in his marriage. Alvilda, however, finds little interest in Helmuth's farming projects and instead turns to a common house guest, Count Scheele, for comfort. When Helmuth discovers her infidelity his reaction is brutal. Written by Peter Brandt Nielsen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance





Release Date:

26 December 1978 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

The Heritage  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Upper class violence
29 December 2013 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

The Danish author Gustav Wied often used rough satirical strokes in his books, and Anders Refn is true to this atmosphere when making his film version of 'Slægten'. The baron Helmuth, played with vigor and strength by Jens Okking is a domineering patriarch who runs his household and estate with brutal egocentric self-righteousness. This arch type character presented with no mercy prepare us for the tragic conclusion of this old countryside manor drama. How the baron has come to be a tyrant might be understandable when we meet his heartless mother played by Bodil Udsen, who has a most uncommon devilish role in this drama. There are none but few sympathetic grown up characters, which also is the setback for a closer human identification with the drama as such. However, Gustav Wied is also remembered for more moderate small town caricatures in 'Livsens Ondskab' and 'Knagsted'. The cinematography has international grandeur rendered by Mikael Salomon.

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