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The Dance of Death (1969)

G | | Drama | August 1969 (UK)
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 ... See full summary »

Director:

David Giles

Writers:

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

Cast overview:
Laurence Olivier ... Edgar
Geraldine McEwan ... Alice
Robert Lang ... Kurt
Janina Faye ... Judith
Malcolm Reynolds Malcolm Reynolds ... Allan
Jeanne Watts Jeanne Watts ... Old Woman
Peter Penry-Jones Peter Penry-Jones ... Lieutenant
Maggie Riley Maggie Riley ... Karen
Carolyn Jones ... Jenny
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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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1969 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Haláltánc See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)
See full technical specs »
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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!
See more »

Connections

Version of Dödsdansen (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

Sir Olivier and Ms. McEwan - A Match Made In Heaven
13 September 1999 | by TirelliSee all my reviews

Olivier awards the viewer with one of his most impressive, fiery performances ever, and playing the type of character that suited him best - a seedy, vulgar, egotistical elderly man (once a mediocre sea captain that was never able to hold the title of major) who takes enormous pleasure in destroying the lives of everyone that surrounds him, including his wife (once an also mediocre lady performer), to whom he has shared 25 five years of sheer hate and disgust. The latest victim of his fiendish intrigues is a distant cousin of hers, assigned to become head of the local Quarentene office, on the Island, somewhere in Eastern Europe, where they live, and to whom Alice - the shrewish wife - shared ( and shares ) a rather strange relationship. August Strindberg's play is captured beautifully on screen by the National Theater , with the help of strong, fiercely intense performances, by both leading lady and gentleman. The only misfire of this sadly underrated motion picture is the editing, that could be better, even though the beautiful images of the Island that are intertwined with the gloomy, dreary atmosphere of Olivier and McEwan's residence, are absolutely fascinating. Thoroughly a classic, thought-provoking, character study of both emotional and mental bankruptcy. Post - Scryptum - If you would like to see Sir Olivier do an equally repelling part, do see 'The Entertainer' as well.


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