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Breaking the Waves ()


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Oilman Jan is paralyzed in an accident. His wife, who prayed for his return, feels guilty; even more, when Jan urges her to have sex with another.

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Awards:
  • Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 43 wins & 27 nominations.
  • See more »
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Cast verified as complete

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Bess McNeill
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Jan Nyman
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Dodo McNeill
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Terry
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Dr. Richardson
Jonathan Hackett ...
Priest
Sandra Voe ...
Mother
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Sadistic Sailor
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Pits
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Pim
Phil McCall ...
Grandfather
Robert Robertson ...
Chairman
Desmond Reilly ...
An Elder
Sarah Gudgeon ...
Sybilla
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Coroner (as Finley Welsh)
David Gallacher ...
Glasgow Doctor
Ray Jeffries ...
Man on Bus
Owen Kavanagh ...
Man at Lighthouse
Bob Docherty ...
Man on Boat
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Young Sailor
Callum Cuthbertson ...
Radio Operator
Gavin Mitchell ...
Police Officer 1
Brian Smith ...
Police Officer 2
Iain Agnew ...
Praying Man 1
Charles Kearney ...
Praying Man 2
Steven Leach ...
Praying Man 3
Dorte Rømer ...
Nurse
Anthony J. O'Donnell ...
Boy 1 (as Anthony O'Donnell)
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Boy 2
Ronnie McKellaig ...
Precentor
Peter Bensted ...
Ugly Man (voice)
Simon Towler Jorfald ...
Boy in Film (voice) (as Simon Towler Jorfaid)

Directed by

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Lars von Trier ... (as Lars Von Trier)

Written by

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Lars von Trier ... (written by)
 
Peter Asmussen ... (co-writer)
 
David Pirie ... () (uncredited)

Produced by

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Axel Helgeland ... co-producer
Peter Aalbæk Jensen ... producer
Lars Jönsson ... executive producer
Rob Langestraat ... co-producer
Marianne Slot ... co-producer
Peter van Vogelpoel ... co-producer (as Peter Van Vogelpoel)
Vibeke Windeløv ... producer

Cinematography by

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Robby Müller

Film Editing by

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Anders Refn

Editorial Department

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Anders Johannes Bukh ... assistant editor
Yann Dedet ... trailer editor
Patrick Dreyfus ... color timer: video
Olivier Fontenay ... color timer: film
Niklas Hansen ... trailer editor
Marianne Jerris ... negative cutter
Tine Grew Pfeiffer ... post-production assistant
Lars Wodschow ... trailer editor

Casting By

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Joyce Nettles

Production Design by

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Karl Júlíusson ... (uncredited)

Costume Design by

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Manon Rasmussen

Makeup Department

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Sanne Gravfort ... makeup artist
Dorota Horonska ... assistant makeup artist
Morten Jacobsen ... special makeup and surgical effects artist
Jennifer Jorfaid ... makeup artist (as Jennifer Jorfald)
Anja Dahl ... makeup artist (uncredited)

Production Management

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Tove Jystrup ... post-production supervisor
Leif Mohlin ... production manager
Lene Nielsen ... unit production manager

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

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Morten Arnfred ... first assistant director
Kristoffer Nyholm ... second unit director

Art Department

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Poul Erik Andersen ... carpenter
Jonas Alexander Arnby ... assistant props
Morten Constantineanu Bak ... graphic designer
Mogens Craner ... carpenter
Peter Grant ... property master
Eva Gøttrup ... props trainee
Leo Jørgart ... construction manager
John Knight ... additional props: Scotland
Jørgen Krogh ... painter
Alistair Macgregor ... building constructor: Scotland
Nini Mandal ... props seamstress
René Pejl ... head painter
Simone Grau Roney ... props (as Simone Grau Larsen)
Søren Simonsen ... painter
Torben Skalleræk ... carpenter
Thomas Westi ... carpenter
Rasmus With ... assistant props

Sound Department

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Kristian Eidnes Andersen ... supervising sound editor
Lars Christensen ... recording engineer: "Siciliana"
Hans Møller ... dialogue editor
Julien Naudin ... foley artist
Peter Schultz ... sound effects editor
Ad Stoop ... boom operator
Per Streit ... sound designer / sound recording mixer
Klas Wahl ... sound recordist: second unit (as Klas Baggström)

Special Effects by

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Birger Bohm ... special effects focus puller
Lars Kolding Andersen ... special effects: Scotland (as Lars Andersen)
Otto Stenov ... special effects gaffer
Jan Weincke ... special effects photographer

Visual Effects by

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Søren Buus ... visual effects editor: manipulation
Niels Valentin Dal ... visual effects editor: manipulation
Steen Lyders Hansen ... visual effects editor: manipulation
Per Kirkeby ... digital artist: manipulation

Stunts

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Terry Forrestal ... stunt coordinator: Scotland
Lasse Spang Olsen ... stunts (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

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Leif Barney Fick ... gaffer
Per Heegaard ... photographer
Thomas Holm Deleurang ... clapper loader (as Thomas Holm)
Steve Holtson ... video assist operator
Henrik Jongdahl ... title photographer
Fredrik Kihl ... video assist operator
Rolf Konow ... still photographer
Eric Kress ... photographer: second unit
Jean-Paul Meurisse ... camera operator
Søren Johannes Meyer ... electrician
Christopher Porter ... gaffer
Per Fredrik Sköld ... assistant camera (as Per Fredrik Skiöld)
Mads Thomsen ... focus puller: second unit
Pim Tjujerman ... focus puller
Morten Ziersen ... video assist operator

Casting Department

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Anne Campbell ... extras casting: Scotland
Rie Hedegaard ... casting: Denmark
Ruth Tarko ... additional casting

Costume and Wardrobe Department

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Binkie Darling ... costumes: Scotland
Anne-Marie Gudnitz ... costume assistant

Location Management

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Anthony Dod Mantle ... location scout: Scotland
Morten Kleener ... location manager
Peter Øvig Knudsen ... location scout: Scotland (as Peter Ovig Knudson)
Janet Riddoch ... location manager: Scotland

Music Department

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Carl-Ulrik Munch Andersen ... musician: organ
Ulrik Corlin ... musician
Jan Harboe ... musician
Tom Harboe ... consultant: Scottish music / musician
Joachim Holbek ... music arranger / orchestrator
Christian Steenstrup ... musician: trumpet
Mark Warrick ... music producer: Pollyanna
Ray Williams ... executive music producer
Ulrik Corlin ... music arranger (uncredited)
Jan Harboe ... music arranger (uncredited)
Tom Harboe ... music arranger (uncredited)

Transportation Department

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Frank Weinberger ... driver: bus

Other crew

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Anna Anthony ... assistant: Mr. Jönsson
Kirsten Bonnén Rask ... script consultant
Douglas Brand ... rig worker: Montrose, Scotland
Stephen Burt ... runner: Scotland
Louise Cross ... assistant: Joyce Nettles
Linda Daae ... continuity
Tony English ... rig worker: Montrose, Scotland
Charlotte Giannetta ... caterer
Tómas Gislason ... script consultant
John Goodwin ... runner
Christel Hammer ... public relations
Jens Georg Hansen ... insurance services: Sedgwick
Else Hartzberg ... consultant: folk dance
Rasmus Heisterberg ... runner
Casper Holm ... production assistant
Henrik Jongdahl ... title designer
Ann Køj ... production accountant (as Ann Koj Slemming)
Christina Mackay ... church consultant
Christine MacLean ... production consultant: Scotland (as Christine Maclean)
Elspeth MacNaughton ... dialogue coach (as Elspeth Macnaughton)
Nanna Mailand-Hansen ... production assistant
Damien Maurel ... digital video consultant
Ghita Norrekjær ... production accountant
Hanne Palmquist ... public relations
Charlotte Pedersen ... assistant to producers
Tine Grew Pfeiffer ... production assistant
Peter Raeburn ... assistant: Ray Williams
Ricki Rasmussen ... runner: Scotland
Niels Reiermann ... trainee (as Niels Reierman)
William Ryan ... rig worker: Montrose, Scotland
Nynne Marie Selin Eidnes ... public relations assistant (as Nynne Selin)
Birgitte Skov ... trainee
Jonathan Sydenham ... script translator
Charlotte Vinther ... financial controller
Ann Vognsen ... production accountant
Glenn Weinold ... runner: Scotland
Grethe Wejlgaard ... medical consultant
David Wilder ... completion bond: Film Finances

Thanks

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Shirley Clarke ... thanks: Sony Music
Charlie Lowry Henderson ... dedicatee
Simon Platz ... thanks: Bucks Music
Crew believed to be complete

Production Companies

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Distributors

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Special Effects

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Other Companies

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

Drama set in a repressed, deeply religious community in the north of Scotland, where a naive young woman named Bess McNeil meets and falls in love with Danish oil-rig worker Jan. Bess and Jan are deeply in love but, when Jan returns to his rig, Bess prays to God that he returns for good. Jan does return, his neck broken in an accident aboard the rig. Because of his condition, Jan and Bess are now unable to enjoy a sexual relationship and Jan urges Bess to take another lover and tell him the details. As Bess becomes more and more deviant in her sexual behavior, the more she comes to believe that her actions are guided by God and are helping Jan recover. Written by Jonathan Broxton

Plot Keywords
Taglines Love is a mighty power. See more »
Genres
Parents Guide View content advisory »
Certification

Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • Amor omnie (Denmark)
  • Rompiendo las olas (Spain)
  • Le onde del destino (Italy)
  • Lom valov (Slovenia)
  • Laineid murdes (Estonia)
  • See more »
Runtime
  • 159 min
Country
Language
Color
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Did You Know?

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Trivia Helena Bonham Carter was originally cast in the role of Bess. One of the reasons she turned it down was because of the sex content, arguing she didn't feel comfortable enough with her body at that age. See more »
Goofs When Jan leaves to go to the rig, one of the crew men gives Bess a flask of liquor. When she takes a sip, she's holding the flask with both hands and its opening is on the left side. There's a quick cut, and in the next shot the opening is shown to be on the right side of the flask. See more »
Movie Connections Edited into The House That Jack Built (2018). See more »
Soundtracks All the Way from Memphis See more »
Quotes Dr. Richardson: Bess. I... I think you've got yourself involved in something that is out of your control.
Bess McNeill: Have I?
Dr. Richardson: [sighs] Come on Bess. You're not a kid anymore.
Dr. Richardson: Look for Christ's sake, he's... he's forcing you to get screwed by every Tom, Dick and Harry... it's just not you.
Bess McNeill: I don't make love with them. I make love with Jan, and I save him from dying.
Dr. Richardson: [exhales] Well I'm sorry, but, you know, to me seems more like a dirty old man who wants to play the Peeping Tom.
Bess McNeill: Sometimes... I don't even have to tell him about it.
Bess McNeill: Jan and me... we have a spiritual contact.
Bess McNeill: God gives everyone something to be good at. I've always been stupid... but I'm good at this.
Bess McNeill: God gives everyone a talent.
Dr. Richardson: What's Jan talent?
Bess McNeill: He is... He's a great lover.
Dr. Richardson: Well, what's... what's mine, then?
Bess McNeill: I don't know.
Bess McNeill: Haven't you find it yet?
Dr. Richardson: [chuckles] I see... And what's your talent Bess? Because, um, surely it can't be being screwed by men you've never seen before.
Bess McNeill: I can believe.
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