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Master of the House (1925)

Du skal ære din hustru (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 5 October 1925 (Denmark)
When a man becomes tyrannical towards his family, the women of the house decide to teach him a lesson in gratitude.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Johannes Meyer Johannes Meyer ... Viktor Frandsen - Finmekaniker
Astrid Holm ... Ida - Hans Hystru
Karin Nellemose Karin Nellemose ... Karen - Deres Datter
Mathilde Nielsen Mathilde Nielsen ... Mads - Frandsens tidligere barnepige
Petrine Sonne Petrine Sonne ... Vaskekone
Clara Schønfeld Clara Schønfeld ... Fra Kryger - Idas Mor
Johannes Nielsen Johannes Nielsen ... Læge
Aage Hoffman Aage Hoffman ... Dreng
Viggo Lindstrøm Viggo Lindstrøm
Vilhelm Petersen Vilhelm Petersen
Byril Harvig Byril Harvig ... Barnet
Aage Schmidt Aage Schmidt
Frk. Voss-Christensen Frk. Voss-Christensen ... Pige Gos Læen
Georg Busch Georg Busch
Frank Henriksen Frank Henriksen


Victor Frandsen is a domestic tyrant. His wife Ida has to work as a slave for him and the rest of the family. She rises early to prepare everything for the day, she toils all day long, and she is often up also in the night, doing some sewing to earn extra money for the household. In daytime she is supported by an old woman called Mads, who was Victors' nanny when he was a child. Mads is filled with loathing for Victor's behavior towards his wife, and calls him a brute. She understands that Ida is on the verge of a serious breakdown, and persuades Ida's mother, Mrs. Kryer, to take Ida away. Mads will herself take care of the household and the children for a time. When Victor comes home and finds out that Ida is gone, he gets angry. He asks his daughter, Karen, where her mother is, but she refuses to tell him. She only says that her mother is very ill, and that it will be his fault if she dies. The accusation strikes Victor in his heart, and he sits down, feeling dejected. Karen ... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

5 October 1925 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Master of the House See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Palladium Film See more »
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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


At the time of its original release in Paris, France, this film played in 57 theaters in three weeks. See more »


Title Card: Do you know the feeling of suddenly facing an old teacher? Before you know it, you are fingering your trouser hem, you stutter and blush to the roots of your hair! Something similar happened to Viktor. A month had gone by since Mads took the reins... and so deeply rooted was the memory of his childhood beatings that he voluntarily submitted to Mad's strict discipline.
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Referenced in Carl Th. Dreyer: My Métier (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Old-Fashioned Male Social Conduct

It has been well known for centuries that aristocrats have, among other virtues, a spoiled and frivolous disposition, but it is certainly very strange that such privileged characteristics are sometimes shared with certain commoners.

And that's precisely what happens with Herr Viktor in the film "Du Skal Aere Din Hustru" ( Master Of The House ), a film directed by Herr Carl Theodor Dreyer in the silent year of 1925 in which is depicted the tyranny of Herr Viktor over his family; the man is always in a bad humour and takes out his frustration on his wife, Frau Ida and children ( aristocrats correspondently are always in the same mood and do the same with their servants ).

"Du Skal Aere Din Hustru" is an unpleasant film, the chronicle of an unhappy marriage constituted by a dutiful and self-sacrificing wife and her irascible and demanding husband. It is an excellent portrait of old-fashioned male social conduct that in other times was considered almost normal in many European societies (the head of the household's supremacy and unquestioned rights) which meant the psychological and physical maltreatment suffered by many women around the world even today.

Such an embarrassing subject is treated with sensitivity by Herr Dreyer in what it is a detailed account of the tyranny of the husband over his family, especially during the first part of the film where, in a detailed way, the whims, continuous demands and bad behaviour of Herr Viktor achieves a vivid portrait of a disagreeable man.

Most of the film is set indoors, in the family apartment, achieving in this way the feeling of a more oppressive atmosphere that is suffered by the wife and her children; a cage where they live just like the canaries owned by Frau Ida.

In such a claustrophobic atmosphere, the wife dutifully and quietly goes about her daily work routine, a sacrificing spouse and mother who puts the health of her body and soul at risk doing such labor for an ungrateful and contemptuous man. These sequences are realistic and without artifice, ja wohl.

During the second part of the film and thanks to the help of an old woman who was Viktor's nanny, we will see the process of the re-education of this ill-spirited man which brings him down to earth and out of his frustration and anger. This proves to be a long and complicated task that the old woman will do boldly and effectively.

Herr Johannes Meyer, who plays the husband, does an excellent job as the tormented man who behaves improperly with his family, although he isn't quite conscious of his tyranny. His attitude is caused by economic and work problems, which lead him to take out his anger and frustration on the people around him, the beloved ones who can't understand but suffer in silence such bad behaviour.

Herr Meyer performs his character in a restrained way, without overacting or extravagant gestures, a fine depiction of an unfeeling man who can't express any emotion except anger. Frau Astrid Holm, who plays the wife is equally convincing. Herr Dreyer's careful direction scrutinizes these scenes from a marriage and the unhappiness that results and must be dealt with.

And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must re-educate himself about some aristocratic old-fashioned conduct.

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