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Day of Wrath (1943)

Vredens dag (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, History | 24 April 1948 (USA)
The young wife of an aging priest falls in love with his son amidst the horror of a merciless witch hunt in 17th century Denmark.
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Kirsten Andreasen Kirsten Andreasen ... (uncredited)
Sigurd Berg Sigurd Berg ... (uncredited)
Harald Holst Harald Holst ... (uncredited)
Albert Høeberg ... The Bishop (uncredited)
Emanuel Jørgensen Emanuel Jørgensen ... (uncredited)
Sophie Knudsen Sophie Knudsen ... (uncredited)
Preben Lerdorff Rye Preben Lerdorff Rye ... Martin (Absalon's son from first marriage) (uncredited)
Lisbeth Movin Lisbeth Movin ... Anne Pedersdotter (Absalon's second wife) (uncredited)
Preben Neergaard Preben Neergaard ... Degn (uncredited)
Sigrid Neiiendam ... Merete (Absalon's mother) (uncredited)
Emilie Nielsen Emilie Nielsen ... (uncredited)
Thorkild Roose Thorkild Roose ... Rev. Absalon Pederssøn (uncredited)
Anna Svierkier ... Herlofs Marte (uncredited)
Hans Christian Sørensen Hans Christian Sørensen ... (uncredited)
Olaf Ussing Olaf Ussing ... Laurentius (uncredited)
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Storyline

In a 17th-century Danish village, an old woman is accused of witchcraft. In the shadow of her flight, capture, confession, and burning at the stake, the young wife of the town's aging pastor falls in love with the pastor's son. Her confession of this illicit affair to her husband brings on her husband's death. At the funeral the pastor's mother denounces the young widow as a witch. Will the widow's lover come to her defense, or has the day of wrath returned? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Strange Love Story - Told With Startling Frankness by Carl Dreyer, world-famous director. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Denmark

Language:

Danish

Release Date:

24 April 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Day of Wrath See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Palladium Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #125. See more »

Goofs

When Absalon is returning to his house through the field, a strong wind can be heard and the grass between the two fences is seen moving. However, the grass beyond the farthest fence, only a few feet away, is perfectly still. See more »

Quotes

Martin: No one has eyes like yours.
Anne Pedersdotter: What are they like? Childlike? Pure and clear?
Martin: No, deep and mysterious. But in their depths I see... a trembling, quivering flame.
Anne Pedersdotter: ...which you have kindled.
Martin: Let's go to the birches.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
In Majorem Gloriam Dei
28 June 2006 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Dreyer's pictures are absolutely mind-boggling .We seem to be in a Rembrandt's or Georges de la Tour's painting.He works with his camera the way a painter does with light to create different textures ,highlights and shadows.The scenes inside the minister's house where the world is still the prey of the good/evil concept are in direct contrast to those ,luminous and pastoral,where the lovers try to reinvent life:some kind of Garden of Eden,which the apple tree on the picture has promised.

Anne's passion was doomed from the start:her situation recalls that of Phaedra:both are pure even in sin,both are victims of an implacable heredity.Even before Martin's appearance ,the over-possessive mother leaves her no chance at all.

Remarkable sequences: the old woman's "trial",her tortures,her screams (I'm not afraid of Heaven or Hell ,I'm afraid to die!" Her death at the stake ,with Ann looking through the window pane ,and realizing it's an omen.The children singing terrifying canticles about God's wrath.

The minister beginning to wonder if his faith is strong enough and the wife's infamous revelation.

The nature which was a refuge, the only sunlight the lovers could get,becomes misty ,almost dark,as the young man has lost all his hopes and illusions."No,Ann says ,it all begins" It's the seventeenth century and Ann is too ahead of her time.She and the old woman are the real human beings in the movie:the minister and his sinister mother are already dead when the film begins as much as the dying man he comforts in his last hour .Martin has got himself tangled up in remorse,superstitions (You've got a magic power) and if life means rebellion and fight ,his surrender leaves him a living dead.

The old woman ,the "witch" ,is afraid to die,which is human:Jeanne D'Arc herself,another "witch" which inspired CT Dreyer had her moments of doubt and fear,and she abjured to save her life .

"Vredens Dag" can still grab today's audience.This is a must.


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