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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

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

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}

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Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

5 October 1925 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Master of the House  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Quotes

Mads, Frandsens tidligere barnepige: Well, there is the howler monkey!
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Connections

Featured in Le pornographe (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

The Shaming of the Brute
10 July 2009 | by See all my reviews

"We men are such fools!" proclaims former master of the house Viktor, and you can't help but feel a sliver of guilt as he silently utters those words. That's the timeless universality of film, I suppose: a Danish movie made over 80 years ago is still relevant today.

This was my first Dreyer, and it is quite a light offering considering the man's weighty reputation. It's a social drama with a patently feminist message delivered with a typically heavy hand (by today's standards). Johannes Meyer is Viktor, the decent man turned into a brute by the failure of his business who doesn't realise just how much he takes his long-suffering wife Ida (Astrid Holm) for granted. Fortunately for Ida, Viktor's curmudgeonly former nanny (Mathilde Neilsen), takes control of the situation by packing the frazzled Ida off to a sanatorium so that she can sort Viktor out.

The film drags for the first half-hour as the daily ritual of the Frandsen family is established. Let's face it, there's little of interest in watching people polishing shoes and preparing breakfast, but things get a little more interesting once Nanny takes charge. It's message is a bit too sweeping (although all us men are probably guilty to some degree) and a little too simplistic in its treatment and resolution, but there's plenty on the screen to demonstrate Dreyer's talent as a director - although some symbolism (caged birds, for example) must have been overused even by 1925. A decent enough film, worth watching despite its mundane setting.


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