Skyggen af Emma (1988)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  5 February 1988 (Denmark)
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Emma (Line Kruse) is an eleven year-old only child from a wealthy Danish family. Emma's parents seem more interested in their own interests than in her. One evening when Emma overhears her ... See full summary »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Line Kruse ...
Emma Zülow
Börje Ahlstedt ...
Malthe Eliasson
Erik Wedersøe ...
Søren Østergaard ...
Bent N. Steinert ...
Ken Vedsegaard ...
Henrik Larsen ...
Merchant Zülow, Emma's Father
Inge Sofie Skovbo ...
Emma's Mother
Ulla Henningsen ...
Poul, Zülow's chauffeur
Sanne Grangaard ...
Pernille Hansen ...
Otto Brandenburg ...
Tage Vilse
Lene Vedsegård ...
Hardy Rafn ...
Police inspector


Emma (Line Kruse) is an eleven year-old only child from a wealthy Danish family. Emma's parents seem more interested in their own interests than in her. One evening when Emma overhears her mother talking about how tragic it must be to have your child kidnapped, Emma decides to stage her own kidnapping. She soon meets Malthe, a kind-hearted, child-like, naïve sewer cleaner who literally stumbles on to her. She convinces Malthe that she is a Russian princess whose family is being chased by Bolsheviks, so Malthe lets Emma stay with him in his very modest abode. After being "kidnapped" for a few days, Emma decides to return home. But, just as she is about to return, she overhears a couple of servants talking about how her parents don't seem to be very upset over her dilemma. She then returns to Malthe and a close bond soon develops between Emma and Malthe. Meanwhile, the police are finally called and begin their investigation. Emma writes a ransom note for $2000, and her father pays it. ... Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 February 1988 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Emma's Shadow  »

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Awards: Young Audience Special Award (Cannes International Film Festival, 1988)./ Best Film Award (Laon Film Festival, France, 1989). See more »

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User Reviews

A beautiful and deeply moving story
2 July 2000 | by (St. Louis, Missouri) – See all my reviews

I was surprised to find that this precious gem of a movie was sitting here in a dark corner of the IMDb without even one comment. Perhaps it's the Danish title, "Skyggen af Emma"; I guess it doesn't particularly lend itself to casual surfing. The English translation, "Emma's Shadow", will get you there if you know what you're looking for. And the movie truly is a precious gem. Sure, you have to put up with subtitles, but they don't really get in the way of understanding what the movie is all about. The essence of the movie is to be found in the evolving loving relationship between eleven year old Emma, a bright, complex, but neglected child of affluent self-absorbed parents, and the simple Malthe, an ex-convict who works in the city sewers. The profound feelings that develop in each for the other doesn't require dialog. Their faces and eyes and body language speak those feelings far better than any author's words could. In fact, the final scene is carried through without one word spoken - and becomes as deeply moving a scene as you're ever see in any motion picture. Actually, there are several scenes of powerful emotional impact along the way as true love sets in solidly between the two. I don't think I'm giving away anything when I say that the capstone of their relationship is in the beautifully understated hotel room sequence near the end of the picture. That and the final scene I already mentioned will bring a tear to any but the coldest of hearts. It must be noted that Line Kruse, as Emma, and the veteran actor Borje Ahstedt, as Malthe, put in masterful performances. It appears that the picture is out of print at the present time. That's a shame. The world needs more such movies. Real beauty is becoming harder to find in present day literature. However, it should still be available in some rental stores. It's worth going out of your way to see before it sadly disappears entirely.

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