7.8/10
15,943
107 user 81 critic

Babette's Feast (1987)

Babettes gæstebud (original title)
G | | Drama | 4 March 1988 (USA)
Trailer
1:28 | Trailer

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During the late 19th century, a strict religious community in a Danish village takes in a French refugee from the Franco-Prussian War as a servant to the late pastor's daughters.

Director:

Gabriel Axel

Writers:

Karen Blixen (short story), Gabriel Axel (screenplay)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stéphane Audran ... Babette Hersant (as Stephane Audran)
Bodil Kjer Bodil Kjer ... Filippa
Birgitte Federspiel ... Martine
Jarl Kulle ... General Lorens Löwenhielm / Löwenhielm's Father
Jean-Philippe Lafont ... Achille Papin (as Jean Philippe Lafont)
Bibi Andersson ... Swedish Lady-in-Waiting
Ghita Nørby Ghita Nørby ... Narrator (voice)
Asta Esper Hagen Andersen Asta Esper Hagen Andersen ... Anna (as Asta Esper Andersen)
Thomas Antoni Thomas Antoni ... Swedish Lieutenant
Gert Bastian Gert Bastian ... Poor Man
Viggo Bentzon Viggo Bentzon ... Fisherman in Rowboat
Vibeke Hastrup ... Young Martine
Therese Højgaard Christensen Therese Højgaard Christensen ... Martha - Father's Maid
Pouel Kern Pouel Kern ... Pastor
Cay Kristiansen Cay Kristiansen ... Poul
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Storyline

In a remote 19th-century Danish village, two sisters lead a rigid life centered around their father, the local minister, and their church. Both had opportunities to leave the village: one could have married a young army officer and the other, a French opera singer. Their father objected in each case, and they spent their lives caring for him. Many years later - their father is now deceased - they take in French refugee, Babette Hersant, who agrees to work as their servant. After winning the lottery, Babette wants to repay the sisters for their kindness and offers to cook a French meal for them and their friends on the 100th anniversary of their father's birth. It proves to be an eye-opening experience for everyone. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Denmark

Language:

Danish | Swedish | French | Italian | English

Release Date:

4 March 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Babette's Feast See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$4,398,938
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

In the church, behind the pastor there is a crucifix on the wall. While many Calvinist Puritan churches have no such images, there is variance among Protestant churches; as the pastor named his daughters after famous Lutherans, his church may be more Lutheran in practice, thus allowing such images. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[in Danish, using English subtitles]
Narrator: In this remote spot there once lived two sisters who were both past the first flush of youth. They had been christened Martina and Philippa after Martin Luther and his friend Philipp Melanchton. They spent all their time and almost all their small income on good works.
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Connections

Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz in A flat Op.39 No.15, arranged for orchestra
(uncredited)
Written by Johannes Brahms
Played during the dance hosted by the Royal family
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Consuming passion?
9 January 2002 | by billy-44See all my reviews

"Babette's Feast" proves that not all film theories and formulas are true 100% of the time. Here's a story where there is no life-or-death conflict, no raging anger, no violent outbursts. Nothing blowed up real good, and there is nothing resembling a chase scene. The conflict is about the ways in which people can be nice to each other. Their personal differences of passion or conviction are not as important as the ways in which they can connect with each other.

How shockingly refreshing.

There is an undercurrent to this film that gives it the feel of a Garrison Keillor monologue, in that it is built around people's personal foibles and quirks.

Even more refreshing is how "Babette's Feast" manages to be nice without becoming cloying, saccharine, facile, superficial or insincere. People's personal passions are portrayed not only from their own perspective, but from the perspective of the people they affect, with more realism than you usually get in film, yet also with sincere and infectious optimism.

If you don't come away from "Babette's Feast" smiling and feeling better, then you must have been distracted from giving it your full attention. This is one of those very rare films that you can recommend to everyone you know. It is truly in a class by itself. Like Mary Poppins, "Practically perfect in every way."

Utterly charming and subtly stunning.


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