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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of the older actors were veterans of the films of Carl Theodor Dreyer. 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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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

 
A feast of cinema
29 April 1999 | by Paul-250See all my reviews

Stephane Audran is the eponymous heroine of this beautifully measured study of a small Danish community towards the end of the last century. Two beautiful and musically talented sisters give-up their own prospects of happiness and marriage in order to look-after their ageing father. One day, a French woman, Babette, comes to work for them. After some years she wins the lottery and is determined to do something for the sisters who have taken her in. Her solution is to prepare an exquisite and sumptuous feast, which changes the lives of all those invited. This is a film about human and cultural interaction, reflected in the changing language of the dialogue from Danish to French, and especially between the dutiful sobriety of Protestant northern Europe and the sensuousness of the Catholic south. It is also about human needs, and how warmth and kindness can be expressed and stimulated through the cultivation of the senses. A profoundly uplifting film.


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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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