The Simple-Minded Murderer (1982)
"Den enfaldige mördaren" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  September 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,941 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 3 critic

A mentally challenged man escapes from his tyrannical master and finds happiness when a poor family takes him in.



(novel), (screenplay)
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7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maria Johansson ...
Hans Alfredson ...
Per Myrberg ...
Lena-Pia Bernhardsson ...
Mrs. Andersson
Nils Ahlroth ...
Lars Amble ...
Carl-Åke Eriksson ...
Cecilia Walton ...
Wallis Grahn ...
Mrs. Höglund
Else-Marie Brandt ...
Sven's mother
Gösta Ekman ...
The new driver
Carl Billquist ...
Lena Nyman ...
Woman without legs
Björn Andrésen ...


In the 1930s, the feeble-minded Sven's mother dies and he is hired as a farm-hand at the rich, affluent Höglund's farm. He has to work without pay and sleeps together with the cows. He meets the disabled Anna who is the first one to treat him as an adult. One day he has had enough of Höglund's maltreatment and moves in with Anna's family. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

September 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Simple-Minded Murderer  »

Box Office


SEK 9,731,249 (Sweden)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of the sources of inspiration for this film came when Hans Alfredsson first heard Verdis "Requiem". He instantly knew that he wanted to use it for a movie. See more »


[repeated line]
Andersson: It's bloody awful.
See more »


Referenced in Sling Blade (1996) See more »


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User Reviews

One of the best movies throughout the history of film.
9 March 2001 | by (Stockholm, Sweden.) – See all my reviews

The directing (by Hasse Alfredson) and the cinematography (by Rolf Lindström and Jörgen Persson) are excellent. During the whole movie the audience can hear the bittersweet tones of Verdi's Requiem. Not also the actors makes this movie to a masterpiece. Maria Johansson is brilliant as the lame girl. But the best performance of them all is made by Stellan Skarsgård as Sven - "The Idiot" (because of his harelip). Skarsgård's performance may be the best throughout the whole history of Swedish film.

Sven and the other farmers over the countryside of Skåne, in southern Sweden, have to endure the mental torture from the factory owner in the district, The Evil Man, played by Hasse Alfredson himself. But after enough suffering, Sven gets enough and with the angels of vengeance he walks over the fields to kill The Evil Man, the factory owner. All this to the music of Verdi's Requiem. This scene may be one of the strongest ever throughout the FILM HISTORY. See this movie, but carefully, do not hesitate.

If only the Lumiere brothers could have seen this...

23 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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