MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 19,074 this week

The Element of Crime (1984)
"Forbrydelsens element" (original title)

6.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 6,213 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 52 critic

A cop in a dystopian Europe investigates a serial killings suspect using controversial methods written by his now disgraced former mentor.

Director:

(as Lars Von Trier)

Writers:

, (dialogue translation), 2 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 41 titles
created 31 Dec 2011
 
a list of 49 titles
created 14 Feb 2012
 
a list of 32 titles
created 30 Jan 2013
 
a list of 45 titles
created 21 Oct 2013
 
a list of 24 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Element of Crime (1984)

The Element of Crime (1984) on IMDb 6.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Element of Crime.

User Polls

12 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An IT company hires an actor to serve as the company's president in order to help the business get sold to a cranky Icelander.

Director: Lars von Trier
Stars: Jens Albinus, Peter Gantzler, Friðrik Þór Friðriksson
Medea (TV Movie 1988)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Medea is in Corinth with Jason and their two young sons. King Kreon wants to reward Jason for his exploits: he gives the hand of his daughter, Glauce, to Jason as well as the promise of the... See full summary »

Director: Lars von Trier
Stars: Udo Kier, Kirsten Olesen, Henning Jensen
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

About a filmmaker not only revisiting, but also recreating (not in a conventional sense) one of his first films, The Perfect Human / Det perfekte menneske (1967)

Directors: Jørgen Leth, Lars von Trier
Stars: Claus Nissen, Majken Algren Nielsen, Daniel Hernandez Rodriguez
Manderlay (2005)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A story of slavery, set in the southern U.S. in the 1930s.

Director: Lars von Trier
Stars: Bryce Dallas Howard, Isaach De Bankolé, Danny Glover
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Oilman Jan is paralyzed in an accident. His wife, who prayed for his return, feels guilty; even more, when Jan urges her to have sex with another.

Director: Lars von Trier
Stars: Emily Watson, Stellan Skarsgård, Katrin Cartlidge
The Idiots (1998)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The group of people gather at the house in Copenhagen suburb to break all the limitations and to bring out the "inner idiot" in themselves.

Director: Lars von Trier
Stars: Bodil Jørgensen, Jens Albinus, Anne Louise Hassing
The Kingdom (1994–1997)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The Kingdom is the most technologically advanced hospital in Denmark, a gleaming bastion of medical science. A rash of uncanny occurrences, however, begins to weaken the staff's faith in ... See full summary »

Stars: Ernst-Hugo Järegård, Kirsten Rolffes, Ghita Nørby
Crime | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An east European girl goes to America with her young son, expecting it to be like a Hollywood film.

Director: Lars von Trier
Stars: Björk, Catherine Deneuve, David Morse
Dogville (2003)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A woman on the run from the mob is reluctantly accepted in a small Colorado town. In exchange, she agrees to work for them. As a search visits town, she finds out that their support has a price. Yet her dangerous secret is never far away...

Director: Lars von Trier
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Paul Bettany, Lauren Bacall
Epidemic (1987)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A film director and a script writer (performed by Lars von Trier and Niels Vørsel themselves) write a screenplay, in which an epidemic spreads about the whole world. Like the protagonist ... See full summary »

Director: Lars von Trier
Stars: Allan De Waal, Ole Ernst, Michael Gelting
Nocturne I (1980)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

It's night. Perhaps after a dream of an intruder crashing through a window, a woman who's sensitive to light has a telephone conversation with a friend. The woman has a plane ticket from ... See full summary »

Director: Lars von Trier
Stars: Yvette, Solbjørg Højfeldt, Anne-Lise Gabold
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A super-sausage saves a bunny in Lars von Trier's directorial debut cardboard animation.

Director: Lars von Trier
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Osborne
Me Me Lai ...
Kim (as Meme Lai)
Jerold Wells ...
Kramer
Ahmed El Shenawi ...
Therapist
Astrid Henning-Jensen ...
House Keeper
János Herskó ...
Coroner (as Janos Hersko)
Stig Larsson ...
Coroner's Assistant
Harry Harper ...
Portier 1
Roman Moszkowicz ...
Portier 2
...
Schmuck of Ages (as Lars Von Trier)
Frederik Casby ...
White Policeman
Duke Addabayo ...
Black Policeman
Jon Bang Carlsen ...
Angry Policeman (as Jon Bang-Carlsen)
Leif Magnusson ...
Hotel Guest
Edit

Storyline

Fisher, an ex-cop, returns to his old beat somewhere in northern Europe after a thirteen-year hiatus in Cairo. His former mentor and role model, author of a treatise called "The Element of Crime", asks him to solve a series of murders involving lottery ticket sellers. Guided by the theories put forth in the book, Fischer retraces the steps of a suspect, Harry Grey, as recorded in a three-year-old police surveillance report. Written by Eddi Sommer <eddi@gmd.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 May 1984 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

The Element of Crime  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The first film in Lars von Trier's 'Europa' trilogy which illuminates the traumas of Europe in the future. The two other parts are Epidemic (1987) and Europa (1991). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Therapist: [to Fisher] Fantasy is OK, but my job to keep you on the right track. We are after the facts. You seem to return to Cairo and me whenever you have a problem. Two months ago you left Cairo, your wife, everything for a police job in Europe. Now you are back haunted by headaches. If you want me to help you get rid of these headaches, we must go back two months in the time. Back to where it all started. All I know... Europe has become an obsession for you.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Trier's Element (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Der Letzte Tourist in Europa
By Mogens Dam, Henrik Blichmann
Translated by Waltraut Andersen
Sung by Sonja Kehler
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
pure genius
16 September 2001 | by (South Carolina, USA) – See all my reviews

The day after I saw this film for the first time, I had to sit down and watch it again. Not because I thought I'd missed something, but because the story and visuals are so compelling that it's the kind of film you're drawn to watch again and again.

Lars Von Trier has created a world of darkness - both literal and figurative. I can't recall a single scene in this film that takes place in broad daylight. The characters move through a surreal night-time world, where everything seems to be touched by corruption and decay. The places they inhabit - a leaky basement, a dirty hotel, the shell of a broken-down bus - all contribute to the overall sense of squalor and disease that overcomes the viewer.

The story essentially follows a man as he follows the trail of a serial killer. As the plot unfolds, there are hints of some kind of surreal (almost supernatural) cycle or pattern into which the detective has fallen. As the film builds to a climax, the viewer's feelings of uneasiness grow along with a sick kind of fascination when the realization of what is happening takes hold.

This film, with its mixture of dreamlike visuals and a nightmarish story, is one of the best foreign-language films I have ever had the privilege of seeing. I would highly recommend it to fans of David Lynch, Jeunet & Caro, Soderbergh's "Kafka," or as a good introduction to Von Trier.


26 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The second-worst Movie I've ever watched supermachead
Very Disappointing cameronlovesjesus
Apocolypse Now dolfkamper
Does Von Trier like this film? CWP-
What was the significance of the lemur in the sewer? roebuck74
Confused Rumer96
Discuss The Element of Crime (1984) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?