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The Emigrants (1971)

Utvandrarna (original title)
In the middle of the 19th century, Kristina and Karl-Oskar live in a small rural village in Smaaland (southern Sweden). They get married and try to make a living on a small spot of land. ... See full summary »

Director:

Jan Troell

Writers:

Bengt Forslund (screenplay), Jan Troell (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Max von Sydow ... Karl Oskar
Liv Ullmann ... Kristina
Eddie Axberg ... Robert
Sven-Olof Bern Sven-Olof Bern ... Nils (as Svenolof Bern)
Aina Alfredsson Aina Alfredsson ... Märta
Allan Edwall ... Danjel
Monica Zetterlund ... Ulrika
Pierre Lindstedt ... Arvid
Hans Alfredson ... Jonas Petter
Ulla Smidje ... Inga-Lena, Danjels hustru
Eva-Lena Zetterlund Eva-Lena Zetterlund ... Elin, Ulrikas dotter
Gustaf Färingborg Gustaf Färingborg ... Prosten Brusander
Åke Fridell ... Aron på Nybacken
Agneta Prytz ... Fina-Kajsa
Halvar Björk ... Anders Månsson, hennes son
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Storyline

In the middle of the 19th century, Kristina and Karl-Oskar live in a small rural village in Smaaland (southern Sweden). They get married and try to make a living on a small spot of land. However, the small size of their land, the infertile soil, and some bad harvests make it tough. One of their children even starves to death. Thus, they decide to emigrate to the U.S. They meet a group of farmers with their families planning the emigration under the leadership of a banned priest. They sell everything and embark for the U.S. The journey on the sailing ship is long and tedious. Some of the emigrants will never reach the New World. Written by Gerhard Windecker <g.wind@mbox300.swipnet.se>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

a new land...a new hope...a new dream

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Sweden

Language:

Swedish | English

Release Date:

8 March 1971 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Emigrants See more »

Filming Locations:

Copenhagen, Denmark See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Svensk Filmindustri (SF) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stanley Kubrick was a deep admirer of the film, and tried to call director Jan Troell to discuss the film. Troell thought it was a prank call and hung up, which commonly happened when the American director called others on the phone. Kubrick particularly loved the costumes, and went on to hire Ulla-Britt Söderlund to work with Milena Canonero on the 18th century costumes for Barry Lyndon (1975). See more »

Goofs

On the train west a character shows an American silver coin and yells out it has "In God We Trust" on it. The scene is the 1850s and the motto was not added to American silver coins until 1867. See more »

Quotes

Kristina: Nobody around here has gone before us. No one ever has. No one.
Karl Oskar: I'll have to be the first then.
Kristina: And you're able to answer for it?
Karl Oskar: Someone has to answer for it.
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Emigrants (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Let the Emigrants in
22 November 2015 | by gizmomogwaiSee all my reviews

One of the few foreign language films to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards (it didn't win, of course), The Emigrants tells the story of the hardships a family faces in a rural county of Sweden, causing them to look to America as a refuge. What's interesting about The Emigrants is that the film is Swedish- you wouldn't necessarily expect the Swedes to make a film about how awful Sweden is and how great the United States is. But, using a realistic and not melodramatic approach, the film lets us know what the family is struggling with and allows us to understand them.

The characters, played by Ingmar Bergman regulars Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann and Allan Edwall, face poor harvests, starvation, poverty, religious persecution and even false rumours of bestiality. They look to the US as a place where a farmer can become rich, with even American slavery looking better than their previous situation. Getting to North America, however, will take a rough voyage in which our heroes will face disease, lice and death, and come into psychological conflict with each other. This makes for a strong drama.

Surely one of the best foreign films of the 1970s and a great addition to the strong cinematic year 1971, The Emigrants is an understated but still compelling film, and I look forward to The Criterion Collection's restoration.


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