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Pelle the Conqueror (1987)

Pelle erobreren (original title)
PG-13 | | Drama | 21 December 1988 (USA)
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The end of the 19th century. A boat filled with Swedish emigrants comes to the Danish island of Bornholm. Among them are Lasse and his son Pelle who move to Denmark to find work. They find ... See full summary »

Director:

Bille August

Writers:

Martin Andersen Nexø (novel), Bille August (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Pelle Hvenegaard ... Pelle
Max von Sydow ... Lassefar
Erik Paaske Erik Paaske ... Forvalter / Foreman
Björn Granath ... Erik (as Bjørn Granath)
Astrid Villaume Astrid Villaume ... Fru Kongstrup / Mrs. Kongstrup
Axel Strøbye ... Kongstrup
Troels Asmussen Troels Asmussen ... Rud
Kristina Törnqvist Kristina Törnqvist ... Anna
Karen Wegener Karen Wegener ... Madam Olsen / Mrs. Olsen
Sofie Gråbøl ... Jomfru Sine / Miss Sine
Lars Simonsen ... Niels Køller
Buster Larsen Buster Larsen ... Ole Køller
John Wittig John Wittig ... Skolelærer / School teacher
Troels Munk Troels Munk ... Læge / Doctor
Nis Bank-Mikkelsen Nis Bank-Mikkelsen ... Præst / Clergyman
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Storyline

The end of the 19th century. A boat filled with Swedish emigrants comes to the Danish island of Bornholm. Among them are Lasse and his son Pelle who move to Denmark to find work. They find employment at a large farm, but are treated as the lowest form of life. Pelle starts to speak Danish but is still harassed as a foreigner. But none of them wants to give up their dream of finding a better life than the life they left in Sweden. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

De trodde att världen skulle bli deras

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Denmark | Sweden

Language:

Scanian | Danish | Swedish | Finnish

Release Date:

21 December 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pelle the Conqueror See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$45,985, 25 December 1988, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,053,931
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Only the second Danish film to scoop the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, Babette's Feast (1987) having done it the year before. See more »

Goofs

Although set on the island of Bornholm, the characters speak standard Danish instead of the Bornholmsk dialect, and do not have Bornholm accents either. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Pelle: Father?
Lassefar: Everything's gonna be fine.
Pelle: Tell it again.
Lassefar: This new country we're going to is very different.
Pelle: Talk more about it.
Lassefar: They put raisins in the pork roast and butter on the bread. They put a lot of butter on the bread. Brandy is cheap as water and it is so strong that it knocks you off. But your father can take it, Pelle, because he's strong.
Pelle: And children are free all day.
Lassefar: Yes, Pelle, yes.
Pelle: Tell it again.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 61st Annual Academy Awards (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

Outstanding Male Lead
12 March 2005 | by tcorbetSee all my reviews

Max von Sydow has probably been given proper recognition for his body of work in Europe, but I don't think we have acknowledged that talent sufficiently in America.

This is a superbly made film for which more knowledgeable reviewers than I can make appropriate comments concerning everything from the original story line to the scenic shots covering changing weather and the years of growth of all the characters.

My only contribution is this: Where else do you have a male lead role where certain aspects of being a hero are necessary to the role, yet the fact of the story is that the male lead is failing in almost every, public aspect of his life. Mr. von Sydow pulls it off. He is a failure, yet he has the stature of a hero and it's not just in the eyes of his adolescent son.

I don't think any of the current generation of male leads could have made this film -- perhaps Costner, perhaps Newman. But that's my point; if any of them had crafted this performance, they would have received recognition. Max von Sydow gave the performance of a lifetime and we didn't even know where to classify the film. The film and the male lead should have won for best in class in the year of release. As another reviewer has noted -- this is a gem.


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