Ordet (1955)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB

Denmark, 1955.  Screenplay by Carl Theodor Dreyer, based on the play by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Carl Theodor Dreyer, , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

A Danish farmer lives with his three sons on their peaceful, wealthy countryside estate. After a life steeped in life-affirming religious devotion, the one son has turned atheist, the other is in love with a fundamentalist preacher’s daughter, and the third has spent so much time in his theological studies that he has gone mad and now believes himself to be Jesus Christ. The clash of these characters is offset by the generous love provided by the oldest son’s wife, whose impending childbirth provides a crucial turning point in the story. Carl Theodor Dreyer does absolutely nothing to hide the stage origins of this magnificent film, and yet his unobtrusive camerawork is magically able to capture intimacy with very little apparent effort. The acting is impeccable by all, especially as the son with the Jesus Christ complex–his delivery of dialogue is simultaneously creepy and comforting.

The Criterion Collection:  #126

Golden Globe Award:  Best Foreign Language Film

Venice Film Festival Award: Golden Lion

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