7.7/10
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Häxan (1922)

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 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

Although financed by Swedish backers, the film was shot entirely at Benjamin Christensen's old studio in Denmark. 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: Centuries have passed and the Almighty of medieval times no longer sits in his tenth sphere.
Title Card: We no longer sit in church staring terrified at the frescoes of the devils.
Title Card: The witch no longer flies away on her broom over the rooftops.
Title Card: But isn't superstition still rampant among us?
Title Card: Is there an obvious difference between the sorceress and her customer then and now?
Title Card: We no longer burn our old and poor. But do they not often suffer bitterly?
Title Card: And the little woman, whom we call hysterical, alone and ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

Re-released in 1941 in Denmark, with a filmed introduction by director Benjamin Christiensen, in which he explains the film. Though the reissued version does use some intertitles for the dramatic scenes, they use wording that is often very different from the intertitles of the original 1922 version. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Historical View of the Witches
8 August 2010 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

The writer and director Benjamin Christensen discloses a historical view of the witches through the seven parts of this silent movie.

In the beginning, there is a slide-show alternating intertitles with drawings and paintings to illustrate the explanations of the behavior of pagan cultures and in the Middle Ages regarding their vision of demons and witches.

Then there is a dramatization of the situation of the witches in the Middle Ages, with the witchcraft and the witch-hunts.

Finally Benjamin Christensen compares the behavior of hysteria of the modern women of 1921 with the behavior of the witches in the Middle Ages, concluding that they are very similar.

"Häxan" is incredibly perfect for a for a 1922 movie. Like in a thesis, he exposes his point of view based in his study of the theme along the time. The reconstitution of the witches in the Middle Ages is amazing. The last part with the comparison with the hysteric women is funny in 2010, but it was the reality in 1921. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Häxan - A Feitiçaria Através dos Tempos" ("Häxan - The Witchcraft Through the Time")

Note: On 16 Aug 2018 I saw this film again.


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