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Dancer in the Dark (2000)

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An east European girl goes to America with her young son, expecting it to be like a Hollywood film.

Director:

Lars von Trier (as Lars Von Trier)

Writer:

Lars von Trier (as Lars Von Trier)
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Popularity
2,320 ( 412)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 33 wins & 46 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Björk ... Selma Jezkova
Catherine Deneuve ... Kathy
David Morse ... Bill Houston
Peter Stormare ... Jeff
Joel Grey ... Oldrich Novy
Cara Seymour ... Linda Houston
Vladica Kostic Vladica Kostic ... Gene Jezkova
Jean-Marc Barr ... Norman
Vincent Paterson ... Samuel
Siobhan Fallon Hogan ... Brenda (as Siobhan Fallon)
Zeljko Ivanek ... District Attorney
Udo Kier ... Dr. Porkorny
Jens Albinus ... Morty
Reathel Bean Reathel Bean ... Judge
Mette Berggreen Mette Berggreen ... Receptionist
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Storyline

1964 in small town Washington state. Selma Jezková, a Czechoslovakian immigrant, and her preteen son Gene live in a rented trailer owned by and on the property of married Bill and Linda Houston, he the town sheriff. Beyond Bill and Linda, Selma has a small group of friends who look out for her, including her primary confidante, Kathy, with who she works, and Jeff who wants to be her boyfriend. Jeff regularly waits outside Selma's workplace long before the end of her shift to drive her home, despite she always refusing in not wanting to lead him on. Her primary job is working on the Anderson Tool factory assembly line, but she does whatever she can to earn money. What only Kathy knows among Selma's friends is that she is slowly going blind, her medical condition being genetic. Selma is barely able to see, just enough to do her job. Her primary reason for moving to the US and for working all the time is to earn enough money for an operation for Gene when he turns thirteen, he who ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In a world of shadows, she found the light of life. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Musical

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Language:

English | German | Czech

Release Date:

6 October 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bailando en la oscuridad See more »

Filming Locations:

Arlington, Washington, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$103,102 (Denmark), 10 September 2000, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$91,612, 24 September 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,184,036, 22 December 2000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$40,031,879, 18 July 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the Scatterheart-sequence, Selma (Björk) lies down on a stack of birch logs. In Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish, "Björk" means "birch". Lars von Trier said he thought it would be fun to put in the movie. See more »

Goofs

Despite the movie taking place in the mid-to-late 1960s, a clearly very modern train (from at least the late 70s) can be seen moving past Selma's house early on in the film. See more »

Quotes

Norman: She said Communism was - better for human beings.
District Attorney: She had nothing but contempt for our great country and it's principals.
Norman: Apart from it's musicals! She said the American one - the American ones were better.
District Attorney: So, the defendant preferred Hollywood to Vladivostok.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original European version had the overture played in dimmed lighting before the curtains opened on the screen. However, Fine Line Features president Mark Ordesky informed director Lars von Trier that such an opening was unfeasible in U.S. theaters, since most American theaters don't have curtains and have electronic projection booths overseen by inexperienced staffers. Thus, von Trier filmed a visual accompaniment to go along with the overture in the U.S. release: a collage of paintings by Per Kirkeby, the artist/husband of producer Vibeke Windeløv. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Don't Try This at Home: Von Dogma bis Dogville (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Cvalda
Written by Björk, Mark Bell, Sjón Sigurdsson & Lars von Trier
Performed by Björk & Catherine Deneuve
Arranged by Björk & Vincent Mendoza
Orchestrated & Conducted by Vincent Mendoza
Produced by Björk & Mark Bell
Mixed by Mark Stent (as Mark "Spike" Stent)
Published by Universal Music, Warp/EMI Music & Copyright Control
See more »

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User Reviews

 
My Cinematic Unemotional Streak- Broken!
13 October 2000 | by wentzjw55See all my reviews

This is one of the best movies I have ever seen. I was not familiar with the director's previous work, but had picked up the soundtrack by Bjork and was intrigued.

Selma (incredibly portrayed by Bjork) makes the audience laugh and weep simutaneously just by following her heart. Every character is played flawlessly, and the cinemetography is innovative and dynamic. The musical numbers jump to life in a 'colorized' style, emphasizing the break from the dismal reality of Selma's painfully decaying life.

I will say only this. I hate crying at movies. Yet, as I was driving home, mad at the fact that I was still sobbing uncontrollably, I realized how much I loved this movie.


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