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Häxan (1922)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Fantasy, Horror | 27 May 1929 (USA)
Fictionalized documentary showing the evolution of witchcraft, from its pagan roots to its confusion with hysteria in modern Europe.
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Maren Pedersen Maren Pedersen ... Heksen / The Witch
Clara Pontoppidan ... Nonne / Nun
Elith Pio Elith Pio ... Heksedommer / Witch Judge (The Young Monk)
Oscar Stribolt Oscar Stribolt ... Graabroder / Doctor (The Fat Monk)
Tora Teje ... En hysterisk kvinde / Modern Hysteric (The Kelptomaniac)
John Andersen John Andersen ... Chief Inquisitor (as Johs Andersen)
Benjamin Christensen ... Djævlen / The Devil
Poul Reumert Poul Reumert ... Juveler / Jeweler
Karen Winther Karen Winther ... Anna
Kate Fabian Kate Fabian ... Gammel jomfru / Old Maid
Else Vermehren Else Vermehren ... Nonne / Nun
Astrid Holm ... Anna
Johannes Andersen Johannes Andersen ... Heksedommer / Witch Judge
Gerda Madsen Gerda Madsen ... Nonne / Nun
Aage Hertel ... Heksedommer / Witch Judge
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Storyline

Part history lesson followed by re-enactments with actors, this film takes depicts the history of witchcraft from its earliest days through to the present day (in this case,1922 or thereabouts). The result is a documentary-like film that must be among the first to use re-enactments as a visual and narrative tool. From pagan worship to satanic rites to hysteria, the film takes you on a journey through the ages with highly effective visual sequences. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Benjamin Christensens stora film.


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Sweden | Denmark

Language:

Swedish | Danish

Release Date:

27 May 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages See more »

Filming Locations:

Copenhagen, Denmark See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

SEK 2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1968 re-release) | (DVD) | (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Silent

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In addition to playing the devil, director Benjamin Christensen also has a brief appearance as Christ. He also appears as himself in the very first shot of the film. See more »

Goofs

The kleptomaniac and the jeweler enter through a door on the right-hand side of the room. In the next shot, they are standing on the left side on the room, and the objects on the shelf behind them have changed position. The shot in which they enter is flipped (look closely at the buttons on the actors' clothes). See more »

Quotes

Title Card: Poor little hysterical witch! In the middle ages you were in conflict with the church. Now it is with the law.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Director Benjamin Christensen personally thanks his cinematographer and art director through the opening titles. See more »

Alternate Versions

Witchcraft Through the Ages (1968), the 76-minute version of Häxan, narrated by William S. Burroughs, with a soundtrack featuring Jean-Luc Ponty See more »

Connections

Featured in Los 5 Faust de F.W. Murnau (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Criterion uncovers a gem
26 June 2003 | by smitchell-1See all my reviews

I found this 1922 "documentary" to be amazing in it's inovative and creative portrayal of witchcraft in the middle ages. Scenes of nudity and torture made this film very controversial in 1922 and caused it to be banned as well as greatly edited in later versions. Criterion has done a great job of preserving the film as it was intended to be seen with censored footage restored, an excellent tinted print, a corrected "projection" speed, a new score that recreates the music played at the original Danish premiere, and some interesting extras. The 1968 William Burroughs narrarated version is also included here and it's pretty ridiculous. The jazz soundtrack is just so very wrong. But still, it's interesting to see, kind of like the "Love Conquers All" version of Brazil. I think that anyone who is interested in film and film history will find this dvd facinating.


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