Kitchen Stories (2003)
"Salmer fra kjøkkenet" (original title)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  17 January 2003 (Norway)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 6,833 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 41 user | 77 critic | 33 from

A scientific observer's job of observing an old cantankerous single man's kitchen habits is complicated by his growing friendship with him.


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Complete credited cast:
Joachim Calmeyer ...
Isak Bjørvik
Tomas Norström ...
Folke Nilsson
Bjørn Floberg ...
Reine Brynolfsson ...
Sverre Anker Ousdal ...
Dr. Jack Zac. Benjaminsen
Dr. Ljungberg
Gard B. Eidsvold ...
Bakkerman (as Gard Eidsvold)
Trond Brænne ...
Bjørn Jenseg ...
Karin Lunden ...
Svensk selskapsdame
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Päivi Laakso ...
Finsk selskapsdame


In post war Sweden it was discovered that every year, an average housewife walks the equivalent number of miles as the distance between Stockholm and Congo, while preparing her family meals. So the Home Research Institute sent out eighteen observers to a rural district of Norway to map out the kitchen routines of single men. The researchers were on twenty-four-hour call, and sat in special strategically placed chairs in each kitchen. Furthermore, under no circumstances were the researchers to be spoken to, or included in the kitchen activities. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language | See all certifications »






Release Date:

17 January 2003 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

Psalms from the Kitchen  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$48,103 (USA) (20 February 2004)


$349,315 (USA) (4 June 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At the beginning of the film, Malmberg (a Swede) becomes ill after having to drive on the right side of the road in Norway. Today both countries drive on the right. In 1967, Sweden switched to the right because making two versions of cars like Volvos and Saabs for domestic and foreign sales was inefficient. Also, there are many unguarded, unmarked border crossings points (unlike the crossing in the film); people would not realize which country they were in and sometimes ended up driving on the wrong side. See more »


Visa Från Utanmyra
Performed by Jan Johansson
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User Reviews

Swedish kitchen researchers (!) in the nineteen fifties goes to Norway to explore country bachelors use of kitchen area.
1 November 2003 | by (Trollhättan, Sweden) – See all my reviews

The summary of Salmer fra kjokkenet in imdb places the movie in the "feel good" genre. This may be true for UK citizens, however a swede really gets the shivers alongside with incontrollable laughs while watching this movie.

The horror derives from the fact that since the thirties the Swedish politicians seriously have believed that they were able to shape society with reason and logic. Thus in the movie, there is the "Institute of private homes research", the object being to develop the most logically structured kitchen, adapted to the average movements of the "normal" house wife.

This excellent movie made in Norway, the neighbouring country of Sweden - which up to 1905 was submitted in a state union with Sweden - makes a very convincing statement about the "swedish mentality", that is how our welfare state has developed during the past 70 years.

The growing relationship between the aging Norwegian farmer and the archetypical swedish bureaucrat Nilsson. Nilssons job is to observe his delinquent while he is performing the daily chores in the country kitchen, is moving and, I think, quite significant if you're interested in the nature of mankind - one of Nilssons colleagues comes at him with the a priceless line of speach: "How the f**k can one know anything about ones fellow man, if not speaking to him?" It needs to be said - the obeservators are strongly advised not to interfere with their "objects of research".

In other words; at one level of Salmer fra kjokkenet provides you with great laughs, if you recognize the type who's main interest is to grasp control of your behavior, of your life. At another level this is a painful, yes, raw settlement with the swedish "social engineering" so admired by foreigners, at least in the past.

I cannot think of any other movie more worth recommending to somebody who's interested in what mankind really is, and what caricature she can made into.

This is a movie about how to make friends when every other possibility is exhausted, how to talk man to man, when every way of communication i banned by the "authorities".

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Question for Norwegian or Swedish speakers Jonathan Dore
Ambiguous Ending? x-moose2
What make is the brown car in the movie? jeanne-47
/theme of movie/how many men left at the end? bobmorris
Soundtrack available? Liendale
A moving and political film Rupert_B
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