A young man is elected by a small village to be its parson. As part of his duties, he is required to marry the widow of the parson before him. This poses two problems--first, the widow is ...
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The judge in a Danish town sees his illegitimate daughter facing a trial for the murder of her newborn child, and is rather sure that she will be sentenced to death. She became pregnant ... See full summary »
Carl Theodor Dreyer
Tore takes over the rundown family farm. Applying his youthful energy, he intends to make it into a big farm like Glomgården on the other side of the river, where beautiful Berit loves. ... See full summary »
Based on the 1918 novel 'Elsker hverandre' by Aage Madelung, the film follows various lives, one of which is Jewish girl Hanne Liebe, as she grows up, and experiences the pains of living as a Jew in Russia, leading to a revolution.
Carl Theodor Dreyer
A man and a woman on a motorcycle arrive with a ferry to Assens. They want to catch the next ferry in Nyborg, on the other side of the island, but this ferry will leave in three quarters of... See full summary »
Because the Baron of Chanterelle wants to preserve his family line, he forces his timid nephew Lancelot to choose one of the village maidens to wed. Lancelot flees to a monastery to escape ... See full summary »
A young man is elected by a small village to be its parson. As part of his duties, he is required to marry the widow of the parson before him. This poses two problems--first, the widow is old enough to be his grandmother, and second, he is already engaged to another woman.Written by
I haven't seen Carl Theodor Dreyer's directorial début, "The President" (Præsidenten), yet. I've seen "Leaves from Satan's Book" (Blade af Satans Bog), however, and it was totally unimpressive. Dreyer took from Griffith's "Intolerance", but didn't even manage a simulacrum of the American director's craft. "The Parson's Widow" is a much better beginning for Denmark's great filmmaker. It is the work of a director coming into his own, even though it's much different in some ways from the rest of his oeuvre.
As with "Leaves from Satan's Book" and his later films, there's the preoccupation with history and religion. But, as others agree, this is Dreyer light. The story of a man who must marry a hag to become a village's parson, and his plots to marry his young fiancée and keep the job despite it is amusing. I thought the devil costume bit was particularly humorous. Dreyer's direction is what makes this worthwhile, though. The quick pace, not lingering on shots and improved camera positioning compared to "Leaves from Satan's Book" make this film more accessible and entertaining.
Dreyer again uses masking and fades extensively, but this time it adds to the style. He gets the most out of the actors. (It shouldn't be underestimated how quicker shot succession can improve, or detract from, otherwise unremarkable acting.) Additionally, the introduction to the past through the waterfall was an especially nice touch. The confining location sets, and more importantly, how Dreyer and cinematographer George Schnéevoigt film them also add greatly to this tightly told film. The small church full of dividers is just a great find, and they use the spaces of the home of the parson's wife very well, with camera placement and continuity editing.
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