1 user 1 critic

Madame de Thèbes (1915)

King of the gypsies daughter Ayla give birth to a child with a man who does not belong to the tribe. She is cursed by his father and is expelled. A countess adopts the child.


Mauritz Stiller

On Disc

at Amazon




Credited cast:
John Ekman ... Ayla's father
Märta Halldén ... Countess Julie
Nicolai Johannsen ... Count Robert
William Larsson William Larsson ... Max
Albin Lavén ... von Volmar
Karin Molander ... Louise von Volmar
Doris Nelson Doris Nelson ... Young Ayla
Ragna Wettergreen Ragna Wettergreen ... Ayla


King of the gypsies daughter Ayla give birth to a child with a man who does not belong to the tribe. She is cursed by his father and is expelled. A countess adopts the child.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

23 August 1915 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Son of Destiny See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

An early Mauritz Stiller movie, long thought lost
29 September 2007 | by GreengagesummerSee all my reviews

Madame de Thebes was found in France a couple of years ago, and was after some hassle returned to Sweden where it was restored. This is the oldest Mauritz Stiller film now in existence.

The story is wacky - a gypsy is cursed by her father, so that she has to deny her illegitimate son in order for him to have a successful life. She gives him to a well-to-do lady who has lost her own child.

Later, he has grown up to be a politician who wants to become the foreign minister. He doesn't know that his real mother is the famous Madame de Thebes, the fortuneteller who all politicians make sure to visit! This information falls into the hands of a rival, who tries to use it to ruin his career. Meanwhile, the rival's attractive daughter is attacked by a ruffian and needs to be rescued...

It's interesting to see how gypsies are depicted in this film. They aren't presented as evil, but it's taken for granted that they can do magic, and there is apparently a great social stigma attached to anyone who is associated with them - the rival can ruin the hero's entire political career simply by revealing that his mother is a gypsy, for instance.

The concept of a political fortuneteller seemed odd to me at first, but the character Madame de Thebes was apparently based on a real person.

There are a lot of striking images in this film. You can see the beauty of them even if the state of the print is far from perfect. The Norwegian actress Ragna Wettergreen gives a haunting performance as Madame de Thebes, with wisdom and regret - and quite a few melodramatic gestures. Understatement was not the norm in those days.

All the original tints have been restored, and the music at the showing I attended was beautiful and very fitting. The composer, Matti Bye, ought to make sure his music scores make it to future DVD releases of Swedish silent films.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See one user review »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed