22 user 10 critic

The Brothers Lionheart (1977)

Bröderna Lejonhjärta (original title)
Brothers Jonatan and Skorpan lead a revolution against the tyrant Tengil in the magical afterlife land of Nangijala.


Olle Hellbom


Astrid Lindgren (novel), Astrid Lindgren (screenplay)
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Staffan Götestam ... Jonatan
Lars Söderdahl ... Skorpan
Allan Edwall ... Mattias
Gunn Wållgren ... Sofia
Folke Hjort ... Jossi
Per Oscarsson ... Orvar
Tommy Johnson ... Hubert
Jan Nygren Jan Nygren ... Veder
Micha Gabay Micha Gabay ... Kader
Georg Årlin ... Tengil
Bertil Norström ... Pjuke
Mats Andersson Mats Andersson ... Tengil's Soldier
Aksel Erhardtsen Aksel Erhardtsen ... Tengil's Soldier (as Aksel Erhardsen)
Ulf Håkan Jansson Ulf Håkan Jansson ... Tengil's Soldier
Bodil Lindorff Bodil Lindorff ... Mother


9-year old Karl Lejon, 'Skorpan' is suffering from tuberculosis and knows that he will die soon. But his older brother Jonathan tries to comfort him by promising that they one day will meet in Nangijala, a magic country beyond the stars. Jonathan dies soon after in a house fire and Skorpan also passes away not long after. They meet in Nangijala, a country divided into the Cherry Blossom Valley and the Briar-Bush Valley. The people in the later are oppressed by the black knight Tengil and his dragon Katla. The two brothers, who now call themselves Jonathan and Karl Lion Heart, decide to help the freedom fighters against the oppression. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


From our world. To the world of the tales and the camp fires. See more »


Drama | Family | Fantasy


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Did You Know?


Lars Söderdahl, who plays Skorpan, became very religious in his late teens/early twenties and took a lot of bible classes. When he did that he read Hebrew and found out that Katla (the name of the horrible dragon), with a slightly different spelling means "She kills" in Hebrew. He didn't know if this was intentional or not. But he thought it was a fitting name for the beast from this movie. See more »


Pjuke: Twenty white horses will be given to he who captures Lionheart.
Jonatan: [in disguise] Then I will catch that rascal!
See more »


Featured in Minns Ni? (1993) See more »

User Reviews

One of the most important films in swedish history about death, loss, love and oppression.
5 April 2003 | by batik_jennySee all my reviews

Maybe it's hard for people outside of Sweden to fully understand what this movie has meant to Swedes through the years. You would especially think so after reading the other comment which compares "Bröderna Lejonhjärta" to Ingmar Bergman - HELLO?!? We do have other directors than Bergman and to compare him to "Bröderna Lejonhjärta" is like comparing "American Pie" to Spike Lee or something. Please don't think you know EVERYTHING about swedish moviehistory just because you've heard of Bergman, there is so much more to it and this movie has virtually nothing in common with Bergman's work.

I am also sorry if people are too destroyed by American blockbusters and can't handle the fact that this movie is for an audience of youngsters and that it's about death. I must also say that grown-ups as well as kids can enjoy this movie. It's very good to see with your children to then discuss it afterwards.

Astrid Lindgren was without comparison Swedish literature's queen and when she died last year it seemed like we couldn't stop mourning. "Bröderna Lejonhjärta" ("The Lionheart Brothers") was maybe one of her most important books, because it handles such heavy subjects in such a great way. When Olle Hellbom's movie came in 1977 it caused a mediastorm Sweden had never seen before. First of all it had a completely new way of speaking to kids about death; a movie that took children seriously and didn't treat them like they could handle only joy and happiness.

Second of all, back in those days the only agelimits on cinemas were 15, 11 and under. They made "Bröderna Lejonhjärta" available only to people over 11 and this caused such a storm that they actually changed the swedish law so that a new agelimit came at 7! All this over one movie.

You can't understand how many kids have found comfort in this story. To children that are about to die you read this novel or show this movie and I don't know how often you read the inscription "We'll see eachother in Nangijala" on gravestones in Swedish cemeteries.

This movie was groundbreaking and it's often wrongfully accused of being too dark and strange. Children can handle a lot more than you think when it comes to strong emotions like love and loss. The only thing that scared me as a kid was the sometimes graphic violence in the end. See this if you have a chance!

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Sweden | Iceland



Release Date:

23 September 1977 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Brothers Lionheart See more »

Filming Locations:

Iceland See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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