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Der var engang en krig (1966)

A young boy grows up during the German occupation of Denmark in World War II.


Klaus Rifbjerg
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ole Busck Ole Busck ... Tim
Kjeld Jacobsen Kjeld Jacobsen ... The Father
Astrid Villaume Astrid Villaume ... The Mother
Katja Miehe-Renard Katja Miehe-Renard ... Kate
Birgit Bendix Madsen Birgit Bendix Madsen ... Jane
Christian Gottschalch Christian Gottschalch ... Bedstefaderen
Yvonne Ingdal Yvonne Ingdal ... Lis
Karen Marie Løwert Karen Marie Løwert ... Lis' mor
Gregers Ussing Gregers Ussing ... Frank
Jan Heinig Hansen Jan Heinig Hansen ... Markus
Birgit Brüel Birgit Brüel ... Markus' mor
Jørgen Beck Jørgen Beck ... Vennen
Elsa Kourani Elsa Kourani ... Vennens kone
Henry Skjær Henry Skjær ... Rektor
Holger Perfort Holger Perfort ... Gymnastiklærer


A young boy grows up during the German occupation of Denmark in World War II.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War


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Release Date:

16 November 1966 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Es war einmal ein Krieg See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Nordisk Film See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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User Reviews

The banalities and problems of life in an occupied country.
31 January 2002 | by shrbwSee all my reviews

This Danish film is about life in Copenhagen during the closing stages of World War Two. It isn't really a war film in the sense that the war predominates. Instead, it is mainly about an adolescent boy coming to terms with maturity.

The war impinges only now and again as a series of incidents. The boys on their bicycles rejoice in a roadway full of tin foil, dropped by British aircraft the previous night to confuse the German electronic defences. The schoolroom falls deathly quiet as a uniformed German officer enters - but he is only inspecting space to be allocated to bombed out refugees from Hamburg. There is embarrassment when a lonely German soldier engages the boy in conversation about his dog.

And in the midst of all this, the boy fantasies about a girl, becoming a resistance hero to impress her, and marrying her. The scene in which he is able to inspect the contents of her bedroom is just as important to him as the episodes of wartime life. His parents and their friends tell jokes about the Nazis behind closed doors in the stultifying boredom of a curfewed city in the evenings. That is the only opposition they can show.

Everyone knows that it will soon end, but life goes on in the meantime. People must endure.

This is, perhaps, what it must have been like.

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