Combustible Celluloid
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With: Hanne Agesen, Kirsten Andreasen, Sylvia Eckhausen, Birgitte Federspiel, Ejner Federspiel, Ann Elisabeth Groth, Emil Hass Christensen, Cay Kristiansen, Preben Lerdorff Rye, Henrik Malberg, Gerda Nielsen, Ove Rud, Susanne Rud, Henry Skjær, Edith Trane
Written by: Carl Theodor Dreyer, based on a play by Kaj Munk
Directed by: Carl Theodor Dreyer
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Language: Danish, with English subtitles
Running Time: 126
Date: 10/01/1955

Ordet (1955)

4 Stars (out of 4)

The Word

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Carl Theodor Dreyer's Ordet (1955) is far simpler than his previous films, taking place mostly in a single set, but also more complex.

Based on a play by Kaj Munk, the film follows the members of the Borgen family, the father, his three sons, and his pregnant daughter-in-law. One son thinks he's Jesus Christ, and another son has fallen in love with a neighbor girl of a different faith. When the daughter-in-law's baby comes due, problems ensue, and everyone's various degrees of faith comes into play.

Dreyer's use of long shots and slow panning keep the entire room and everyone's physical whereabouts clear to us, and at the same time physically brings forth their emotional states. It's available on DVD as part of the Criterion Collection's Carl Th. Dreyer: My Métier box set.

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