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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

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

The movie is based on the novel by same name, written by Martin Andersen Nexø. 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 »

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful Rendering of a Difficult Life
24 February 2008 | by gelman@attglobal.netSee all my reviews

Pelle the Conqueror won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language film when it was originally released. Although I did not see it then, it is certainly easy to see why it received that answer. It is an unsparing tale of the life of a Swedish immigrant father and son (Max von Sydow and Pelle Hvenegaard) who have come to Denmark following the death of wife and mother and found work as laborers on a farm in a desolate seaside landscape. It is, to avoid giving details, a terrible life. I'm told that this is a very thin slice from a four-volume novel. So despite the film's 2-1/2 hour length, what we're shown is a tiny piece of a much larger canvas. Max von Sydow, a famous actor in his day, is superb as the elderly father of young Pelle but the child's role is also very well acted, and the direction by Bille August who also wrote the screenplay is unobtrusive but sure-handed. Since it is set in the 19th Century, there is nothing dated about this film. It is a masterwork.


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