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Pelle the Conqueror (1987)
"Pelle erobreren" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  21 December 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 7,280 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 18 critic

The end of the 19th century. A boat filled with Swedish emigrants comes to the Danish island of Bornholm. Among them are Lasse and his son Pelle who move to Denmark to find work. They find ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 23 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pelle Hvenegaard ...
Erik Paaske ...
Forvalter / Foreman
Björn Granath ...
Erik (as Bjørn Granath)
Astrid Villaume ...
Fru Kongstrup / Mrs. Kongstrup
Axel Strøbye ...
Troels Asmussen ...
Kristina Törnqvist ...
Karen Wegener ...
Madam Olsen / Mrs. Olsen
Jomfru Sine / Miss Sine
Niels Køller
Buster Larsen ...
Ole Køller
John Wittig ...
Skolelærer / School teacher
Troels Munk ...
Læge / Doctor
Nis Bank-Mikkelsen ...
Præst / Clergyman


The end of the 19th century. A boat filled with Swedish emigrants comes to the Danish island of Bornholm. Among them are Lasse and his son Pelle who move to Denmark to find work. They find employment at a large farm, but are treated as the lowest form of life. Pelle starts to speak Danish but is still harassed as a foreigner. But none of them wants to give up their dream of finding a better life than the life they left in Sweden. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


De trodde att världen skulle bli deras




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Parents Guide:






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Release Date:

21 December 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pelle the Conqueror  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,053,931 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Denmark's official submission as Best Foreign Language Film at the 1988's Oscar. See more »


[first lines]
Pelle: Father?
Lassefar: Everything's gonna be fine.
Pelle: Tell it again.
Lassefar: This new country we're going to is very different.
Pelle: Talk more about it.
Lassefar: They put raisins in the pork roast and butter on the bread. They put a lot of butter on the bread. Brandy is cheap as water and it is so strong that it knocks you off. But your father can take it, Pelle, because he's strong.
Pelle: And children are free all day.
Lassefar: Yes, Pelle, yes.
Pelle: Tell it again.
See more »

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User Reviews

Outstanding Male Lead
12 March 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Max von Sydow has probably been given proper recognition for his body of work in Europe, but I don't think we have acknowledged that talent sufficiently in America.

This is a superbly made film for which more knowledgeable reviewers than I can make appropriate comments concerning everything from the original story line to the scenic shots covering changing weather and the years of growth of all the characters.

My only contribution is this: Where else do you have a male lead role where certain aspects of being a hero are necessary to the role, yet the fact of the story is that the male lead is failing in almost every, public aspect of his life. Mr. von Sydow pulls it off. He is a failure, yet he has the stature of a hero and it's not just in the eyes of his adolescent son.

I don't think any of the current generation of male leads could have made this film -- perhaps Costner, perhaps Newman. But that's my point; if any of them had crafted this performance, they would have received recognition. Max von Sydow gave the performance of a lifetime and we didn't even know where to classify the film. The film and the male lead should have won for best in class in the year of release. As another reviewer has noted -- this is a gem.

34 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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