7.2/10
82
4 user 1 critic

The Dance of Death (1969)

G | | Drama | August 1969 (UK)
A filmed record of Laurence Olivier's farewell theatrical performance as the canny, psychotic captain of the August Strindberg play.

Director:

David Giles

Writers:

C.D. Locock (translation), August Strindberg (play)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Laurence Olivier ... Edgar
Geraldine McEwan ... Alice
Carolyn Jones ... Jenny
Maggie Riley Maggie Riley ... Karen
Robert Lang ... Kurt
Jeanne Watts Jeanne Watts ... Old Woman
Janina Faye ... Judith
Malcolm Reynolds Malcolm Reynolds ... Allan
Peter Penry-Jones Peter Penry-Jones ... Lieutenant
Frederick Pyne Frederick Pyne ... Sentry
Barry James Barry James ... Sentry
David Ryall ... Sentry
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Storyline

An egocentric artillery Captain and his venomous wife engage in savage unremitting battles in their isolated island fortress off the coast of Sweden at the turn of the century. Alice, a former actress who sacrificed her career for secluded military life with Edgar, reveals on the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary, the veritable hell their marriage has been. Edgar, an aging schizophrenic who refuses to acknowledge his severe illness, struggles to sustain his ferocity and arrogance with an animal disregard for other people. Sensing that Alice, together with her cousin and would-be lover, Kurt, may ally against him, retaliates with vicious force. Alice lures Kurt into the illusion of sharing a passionate assignation and recruits him in a plot to destroy Edgar. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sir Laurence Olivier in his supreme achievement

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While playing Edgar onstage in the National Theater, Olivier became ill and had to be replaced for a while. His replacement, who received high praise from critics and Olivier himself, was the young Anthony Hopkins. See more »

Quotes

Edgar: She's mad at me for not dying yesterday.
Alice: For not dying twenty-five years ago! For not dying before I was born!
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Connections

Version of Play Strindberg (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

The Entry of the Boyars
By Johan Halvorsen
See more »

User Reviews

 
A missing masterpiece?
15 March 2006 | by fsoutherSee all my reviews

I have been searching everywhere I can think of to try to obtain this movie. Olivier thought his performance as Edgar in this Strindberg masterpiece might have been the best piece of work he ever did, and the combination of Olivier and Strindberg ought to be electrifying. So the movie ought to be readily available. I gather the distributors are Paramount, but can find no information on how to discover anything: availability, price, location of archive copies -- it all seems to be a mystery. Terry Coleman refers to the movie in his biography of Olivier, and it shows up on records of Olivier filmography as made in 1969, with a cast list. But the film itself seems to have disappeared. Can anyone tell me where to find it? I am a Strindberg scholar, and this is a valuable record. I don't really have more to add, and have rated the film as a 10 only because this combination of talent ought to result in a masterpiece.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1969 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Dance of Death See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)
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