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Babette's Feast (1987)

Babettes gæstebud (original title)
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In a remote 19th-century Danish village, two sisters lead a rigid life centered around their father, the local minister, and their church. Both had opportunities to leave the village: one ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Babette Hersant (as Stephane Audran)
Bodil Kjer ...
Birgitte Federspiel ...
Achille Papin (as Jean Philippe Lafont)
Svensk hofdame
Ghita Nørby ...
Asta Esper Hagen Andersen ...
Anna (as Asta Esper Andersen)
Thomas Antoni ...
Svensk Lieutenant
Gert Bastian ...
Poor Man
Viggo Bentzon ...
Fisherman in Rowboat
Therese Hojgaard Christensen ...
Pouel Kern ...
The Minister
Cay Kristiansen ...


In a remote 19th-century Danish village, two sisters lead a rigid life centered around their father, the local minister, and their church. Both had opportunities to leave the village: one could have married a young army officer and the other, a French opera singer. Their father objected in each case, and they spent their lives caring for him. Many years later - their father is now deceased - they take in French refugee, Babette Hersant, who agrees to work as their servant. After winning the lottery, Babette wants to repay the sisters for their kindness and offers to cook a French meal for them and their friends on the 100th anniversary of their father's birth. It proves to be an eye-opening experience for everyone. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Music


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

4 March 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Babette's Feast  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$4,398,938 (USA)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


First Danish movie to win an Academy Award for best foreign language film. See more »


[first lines]
[in Danish, using English subtitles]
Narrator: In this remote spot there once lived two sisters who were both past the first flush of youth. They had been christened Martina and Philippa after Martin Luther and his friend Philipp Melanchton. They spent all their time and almost all their small income on good works.
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Referenced in Nurse Jackie: Pill-O-Matix (2009) See more »


Were Nur Den Lieben Gott
Written by Georg Neumark, Danish lyrics by unknown author
Sung after the meal
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User Reviews

My Favorite Film (and I Love movies)
3 January 2005 | by (Arcata, CA) – See all my reviews

Babette's Feast, for me, is about healing: mending the schism between spirit and body in orthodox Christianity. This puritanical community in remote Denmark is missing an adequate appreciation of all of God's gifts in creation. They have taken the dualism of St. Paul to an extreme, and stress the life of the "spirit," not the life of the "flesh." Both elderly sisters, in their youth, were frightened by the lure of love and the temptations of life outside their simple village. They, and their parishioners, cling to the narrow biblical interpretation of their former leader, and the sisters' father. The aging congregation has become testy and quarrelsome, and the sisters don't know what to do. Enter Babette, a French stranger, and someone to whom they can show kindness. They have no way of knowing that she will ultimately return their kindness and give fertile soil to their dry, dusty theology. Babette will give everything she has, and in the process, will teach the sisters and their flock about grace, about sacrifice, about how sensual experience (as in the bread and wine of the Eucharist) can change lives, and about why true art moves us so deeply. When they can forgive each other, and themselves, they can focus on God's love that unfolds before them in a concrete way in the present. As a minister, and an artist, I can't recommend a movie more highly. True art and true grace!!

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