8.0/10
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43 user 71 critic

Day of Wrath (1943)

Vredens dag (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, History | 24 April 1948 (USA)
The young wife of an aging priest falls in love with his son amidst the horror of a merciless witch hunt in 17th century Denmark.
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Kirsten Andreasen ...
(uncredited)
Sigurd Berg ...
(uncredited)
Harald Holst ...
(uncredited)
...
The Bishop (uncredited)
Emanuel Jørgensen ...
(uncredited)
Sophie Knudsen ...
(uncredited)
Preben Lerdorff Rye ...
Lisbeth Movin ...
Preben Neergaard ...
Degn (uncredited)
...
Emilie Nielsen ...
(uncredited)
Thorkild Roose ...
Anna Svierkier ...
Herlofs Marte (uncredited)
Hans Christian Sørensen ...
(uncredited)
Olaf Ussing ...
Laurentius (uncredited)
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Storyline

In a 17th-century Danish village, an old woman is accused of witchcraft. In the shadow of her flight, capture, confession, and burning at the stake, the young wife of the town's aging pastor falls in love with the pastor's son. Her confession of this illicit affair to her husband brings on her husband's death. At the funeral the pastor's mother denounces the young widow as a witch. Will the widow's lover come to her defense, or has the day of wrath returned? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Strange Love Story - Told With Startling Frankness by Carl Dreyer, world-famous director. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 April 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Day of Wrath  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though the film is outwardly a chronicle of a religious witch-hunt, it contained many subtler comparisons to the behavior of the Nazis (torture and questioning) and Carl Theodor Dreyer fled Denmark for Sweden where he remained until the war was over. See more »

Goofs

When Absalon converses with Laurentius on his death bed, a microphone is visible at the top of the frame. See more »

Quotes

Anne Pedersdotter: We will have a small house by the sea. Every morning I shall wake... my head on your shoulder. With a kiss I awake you. Then we hear from his cradle a little Martin crying. I pick him up. And as I found life at your breast, he'll find life at mine. The tenderness you gave to me, I give back to him. While I hum for him a song about us two. Isn't it lovely to think about?
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Connections

Featured in Histoire(s) du cinéma: Toutes les histoires (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Totally unique and a visual treat
4 September 2006 | by See all my reviews

Given that the director, Dreyer, was an obsessive-compulsive, it's not very surprising that the movie was filmed magnificently. It is one of the more visually striking and amazing black and white films I have seen--somewhat reminiscent of German Expressionism as well as the Bergman film THE SEVENTH SEAL. It was simply beautiful to watch. And, to heighten the visual impact, the characters (especially the supporting ones) look much like they were lifted from 17th century paintings by Rembrandt and Holbein.

As for the film itself, it was very well-crafted. At times it was very hard to watch (such as the torture scene and the scene where the old woman was burned alive), and at other times it did seem a tiny bit tedious (but not so much that it spoiled the film) and other times the film was quite odd--especially since the direction the film went really surprised me. In the end, you find that Dreyer's film wasn't necessarily an indictment on the stupidity of the witch trials and it left many questions unanswered. I really liked this vagueness--as too often films try to spoon feed and convince the viewer--this one didn't seem to care and just wanted to, at times, confuse and surprise the audience.

If you like this film, a couple other Danish films I also loved and strongly recommend (though they bear no similarity to this film) are BABETTE'S FEAST and THE CELEBRATION. Movies like these really encourage me to seek out more Danish films.


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