7.8/10
16,154
108 user 82 critic

Babette's Feast (1987)

Babettes gæstebud (original title)
G | | Drama | 4 March 1988 (USA)
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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)
Reviews
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

The full name of the French general mentioned by Babette and General Löwenhielm was Gaston Alexandre Auguste, Marquis de Galliffet. He was a French war hero and long-serving soldier. He became infamous for his repression of the Paris Commune in 1871. 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

Referenced in Gray Matters (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Champagne aria from Don Giovanni
(uncredited)
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sung as Papin returns to his lodging
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A French cook/housekeeper is sent to aid a pair of religious Danish sisters who have devoted their lives to the service of God and their small town.
18 January 1999 | by Glenn-31See all my reviews

This delicately told and moving story about the two devout daughters of a Danish Lutheran minister and their French servant is one of the finest European films of the 1980s. Set in a small, remote, austere Danish seaside town in the mid-19th century, the daughters devote their lives to continuing the work of their father in service of God, and in care for their needy townspeople. One of the daughters had turned down a promising opera career -- and the love of her French voice coach (a famous opera singer himself) -- to remain with her father and the town. Many years later the French singer sends a woman (Babette) -- who had lost her family in an outbreak of civil war -- to live with the sisters. She turns out to be an excellent cook, housekeeper and a shrewd shopper. The story culminates in a sumptuous feast prepared by Babette coinciding with a memorial to the reverend minister's 100th birthday. This delicious screenplay was adapted from the Isak Denisson (pen name for Karen Blixen) short story originally published in the Ladies Home Journal.


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