8.2/10
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51 user 63 critic

Ordet (1955)

Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy | 10 January 1955 (Denmark)
Follows the lives of the Borgen family, as they deal with inner conflict, as well as religious conflict with each other, and the rest of the town.

Writer:

Kaj Munk (play)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Hanne Aagesen Hanne Aagesen ... Karen (uncredited)
Kirsten Andreasen Kirsten Andreasen ... (uncredited)
Sylvia Eckhausen Sylvia Eckhausen ... Kirstin Petersen (uncredited)
Birgitte Federspiel ... Inger Borgen (uncredited)
Ejner Federspiel Ejner Federspiel ... Peter Petersen (uncredited)
Ann Elisabeth Groth Ann Elisabeth Groth ... Maren Borgen (uncredited)
Emil Hass Christensen Emil Hass Christensen ... Mikkel Borgen (uncredited)
Cay Kristiansen Cay Kristiansen ... Anders Borgen (uncredited)
Preben Lerdorff Rye Preben Lerdorff Rye ... Johannes Borgen (uncredited)
Henrik Malberg Henrik Malberg ... Morten Borgen (uncredited)
Gerda Nielsen Gerda Nielsen ... Anne Petersen (uncredited)
Ove Rud Ove Rud ... Pastor (uncredited)
Susanne Rud Susanne Rud ... Lilleinger Borgen (uncredited)
Henry Skjær Henry Skjær ... The Doctor (uncredited)
Edith Trane Edith Trane ... Mette Maren (uncredited)
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Storyline

How do we understand faith and prayer, and what of miracles? August 1925 on a Danish farm. Widowed Patriarch Borgen, who's rather prominent in his community, has three sons: Mikkel, a good-hearted agnostic whose wife Inger is pregnant, Johannes, who believes he is Jesus, and Anders, young, slight, in love with the tailor's daughter. The fundamentalist sect of the girl's father is anathema to Borgen's traditional Lutheranism; he opposes the marriage until the tailor forbids it, then Borgen's pride demands that it happen. Unexpectedly, Inger, who is the family's sweetness and light, has problems with her pregnancy. The rational doctor arrives, and a long night brings sharp focus to at least four views of faith. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Legend for Today See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Denmark

Language:

Danish

Release Date:

10 January 1955 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Ordet See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Palladium Film 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

The set for the final scene in Carl Th. Dreyer's 1943 film VREDENS DAG was recreated twelve years later for the final scene of his film of this film. As well, actress Birgitte Federspiel was cast as Inger in this version of ORDET because of her facial resemblance to actress Lisbeth Movin as Anne in VREDENS DAG, allowing Dreyer to create somewhat of a reversal of the final scene in this picture. See more »

Quotes

Inger Borgen: I believe a lot of little miracles happen secretly.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in To vlemma tou Odyssea (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Not only brilliant, but truly engaging
9 September 2002 | by Ben7See all my reviews

Others have reviewed this picture in a more scholarly and contextual manner than I can, so I will only endeavor to add the following:

I have a particular interest in the nature of faith, and undertook to view Ordet as something "good for me," but probably arduous. Wrong! I also grew up in an area heavily populated by Scandinavians, and knew immigrants who were contemporaries of the oldest characters in the picture.

Ordet, set in 1925, is a dead-on take of old-school Scandinavian culture, suffused with both the most intense dramatic elements imaginable and moments of comic relief as well. The action moves right along without help of special effects or a distracting musical score.

This picture at least alludes to the seldom-asked question, "Why do people believe?" Is it merely for the rewards of faithfulness, or something more?

The final scene, utterly devoid of effects or music, has a dramatic power unexcelled in the ensuing 47 years of cinema to date. It is very long, but uses its duration in service of the tension of the story. Nobody is yelling, fighting or firing weapons, despite the fact they are enduring emotional torment that is as painful as it gets.

In an oblique way, the scene reminded me of the part of Jim Jarmusch's "Down By Law" where Tom Waits and Co. are sitting in the clink in real time, and time passes glacially in one very long scene, illustrating the sheer boredom of incarcerated life. Here real time is used to illustrate the unrelenting nature of grief. In both cases we see what happens long after the scene would have changed in nearly any other picture. The pace conforms plausibly with real life, and in so doing serves the dramatic tension.

One negative review alludes to the final shot and the expression in a character's eyes. I would defend that as an insight that no blessing is unmixed.

As others have noted, one needn't hold a Christian point of view to enjoy this film and be given much to ponder. See it.


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