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)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stéphane Audran ... Babette Hersant (as Stephane Audran)
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 ... 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 ... 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

Taglines:

Artistic, sensual and sacred passions unite in Babette's Feast.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

First Danish movie to win an Academy Award for best foreign language film. See more »

Goofs

General Löwenhielm calls the appetizer Blinis Demidoff. First, Blinis is not a word; in Russian, Blini is the plural of Blin, which is a large, crepe-like buckwheat pancake that is typically rolled around a filling. Second, those are not Blini; they are Oladiy, which are the smaller, thicker buckwheat pancakes on which caviar is typically served. 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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Soundtracks

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

 
incredible surprise
21 September 2007 | by dcldanSee all my reviews

This movie is almost unknown, but it is very good. In a lonely Danish town, two old sisters live remembering a far youths, when, due to a strict puritan education, they had to reject happiness. Lonely, then, the live in a dignified austerity, until Babette, who flies from Paris, frightened by the horror of the war, arrives. In few time, she will be able to turn the goodness and love she received when she arrived. A good lottery prize lets her organize a great banquet, following the best rules of French gastronomy. All neighbourhoods are invited (all fanatically puritans). They accept, but they pact to not show any trace of pleasure or enjoyment, as it would be a sin. However, the seductive force of the delicious meal they eat, that they become seduced by the sensuality of French gastronomy. The banquet end in a very felt, though quietly, happiness. The love between humans has awaken. The miracle of rise the human kindness due to the pleasure of the sense has begun. The movie is surprisingly good, but it is not for all tastes. During most of the movie, nothing happens, all is so quiet and so peaceful, that during many minutes, you can only see the life of the inhabitants of the town. But, as the movie develops, it becomes more precious, when Babette wins the lottery prize (after 30min movie), the show begins. The author is able, with a perfect directing, to show us how Babette prepares the banquet, how she mixes all the ingredients with the most wonderful one (Love), all told in a quiet delicious way, with a perfect knowledge of photography and acting. Then, as the banquet goes by, the quality in showing us how the mood of all eaters changes due to the meal, only with first shots, with impressively filmed scenes one after another is simply astonishing. In addition, the tact with the colours and the photography is also superb, almost every scene of the movie is like a picture, so work is involved there. If you are able to admire good cinema and are able to realize that sometimes the way on telling you something rather than what is told is more important, this is your movie. If you happen to like good meals and just love the good gastronomy, probably, you'll feel amused, as most feelings of the movie will be familiar to you. An Oscar totally deserved. The only problem is its slowness at setting up the story, but, I can forgive it (I hope everyone too)


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Denmark

Language:

Danish | French | Swedish | 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

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,637,920
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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