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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest films ever made., 26 Mar. 2007
By 
Nobody (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ordet [1954] [DVD] (DVD)
Ordet (The Word) is a Danish film directed in 1955 by Carl Theodore Dreyer. It was adapted from the 1925 play by Danish playwright and Lutheran pastor Kaj Munk. Ordet is set in a spiritually divided community and deals with faith and the belief in miracles. Dreyer is regarded as one the truly great directors of all time, with a conviction to his art, matched by very few other directors. `Ordet' was the only film he made in the 1950s, twelve years after `Day Of Wrath' (1943) in ten years before his final film `Gertrude' (1965). The lighting in Ordet is simply exquisite and the cinematography by Henning Bendtsen is remarkable. Henning would go on to shoot `Gertrude' also and later `Europa' (1991) for Lars Von Trier. Lars Von Trier is a huge fan of Dreyer, evidence of which can be seen in `Breaking The Waves' (1996) that featured similar themes. If you're serious about cinema then this is a film that needs to be seen. I can't recommend this more highly than to say that this is in my top 10 favourite films ever made up there with the work of Bergman, Antonioni, Ozu, Fellini, Bresson and Cocteau.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreyer's Penultimate Masterpiece, 10 Jan. 2001
By 
Paracelsus1966 (Somerset, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ordet [VHS] (VHS Tape)
After his masterly The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), Dreyer's output slowed down to around to about one film a decade. Joan and the films after it, Vampyr (1932), Day of Wrath (1943) and Gertrud (1964) are all monumental works that still retain their awesome power to this day.
It is to this group of late works that Ordet (The Word) belongs. It is a meditation on the power of love, faith and miracles set in rural Jutland. The story revolves around Johann, who has gone mad 'from reading too much Kierkegaard', and spends most of the film thinking that he is Jesus, and his heavily pregnant sister Inga. Johann gets in everyone's way, and seems unconcerned at the imminent birth of Inga's child.
I can't give away the ending. All I can say that it is one of the greatest scenes in the history of cinema. The performaces beggar belief. Even thinking about it makes me cry.
If you've ever wondered why Dreyer is revered as one of cinema's all time greats watch this film. (He is Lars von Trier's favourite director, and his Breaking the Waves owes a clear debt to Dreyer)
Ordet will stay with you forever.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film but..., 28 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Ordet [1954] [DVD] (DVD)
...the synopsis on the back of the dvd reveals the ending! Basically, this is a two hour film that climaxes in a dramatic final scene. Problem is, the dvd back cover pretty much reveals everything about the plot. I am a fan of Dreyer's work and this is an excellent dvd in many other ways but I felt disappointed watching it as I knew exactly what was coming, so the film lost a lot of it's power. If you buy this dvd, I'd suggest not reading the notes until after viewing. Hope this helps your enjoyment of the film!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Should we still believe in Miracles, 12 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Ordet [1954] [DVD] (DVD)
I have just watched this Film, and because it had been given a 5star rating, I decided to persevere, thinking this has to be watchable. After the first hour, I began to wonder where the film was going, after all, it was about 2 families with differing views on God. One Family believing that Death is the Salvation, and the other believing that God is the Saviour of all Mankind with both Matriarchs from each Family trying to get the other to believe in there own reasoning. One of the Sons believing that Jesus is the Saviour and hauntingly becoming a deciple of Jesus, which did not go down well with the rest of his Family. I will not spoil the ending, suffice to say only the viewer can judge whether Miracles do happen. This Film beautifully shot in Black & White mostly indoors, but some scenes being shot outside gave respite to the claustrophobic atmosphere within. It is a very Deep & Intense Film, with many questions being asked during and its ending. Is it a Film I would have in my Library? That depends on ones Religious beliefs, but to say No, would be critical of Christianity without truly understanding it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ordet, 24 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Ordet [1954] [DVD] (DVD)
I find it one of the most challenging Danish dramas, and I am looking forward to seeing this film every Easter in the future
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Austere transcendentalism, 26 July 2009
By 
technoguy "jack" (Rugby) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ordet [1954] [DVD] (DVD)
Dreyer comes as a revelation.Set in 1920s Denmark centred on the Borgen family farm. Within one family we have variations of belief. The stern paterfamilias,Morten Borgen, who's own belief is of a life-affirming Christianity of the mainstream. His eldest son,Mikkel is a humanist agnostic.His wife Ingers, is a true believer who hopes she can lead her husband back to the faith.Then there is Anders,who has fallen in love with Anne a neighbour's daughter from a stricter fundamentalist sect.However Johannes is seen preaching to nature outside in the dunes and grasses.He has become mentally deranged after reading Kierkegaard while training as a Pastor.He clearly upsets his family wandering as he does in and out of rooms and touched by his pure incantatory faith.He observes others' loss of faith as he passes them. He tells the Pastor he is Jesus of Nazareth.The Pastor asks how he can prove it as he comes across as somewhat sceptical.Johannes is dismayed at the state of the state church which cannot believe in miracles. Peter the fundamentalist does not want Anders to marry his daughter and Morten being wealthier,is so put out by this he pays Peter a visit to have it out with him with Anders.Peter and Morten fight and Peter wishes upon Morten a shocking event to wake him up. The shock comes as his daughter-in-law,-shown earlier to be the hub of the farmstead,ministering to all the family members care with a gentle,caring,compassionate disposition- has a premature delivery and loses her baby son.She also loses her life after a deterioration. The beliefs that people hold do not unite them.

Johannes thinks it a disgrace that nobody wished Inger to come to life. He is led by the hand of his neice who literally believes he can do the impossible and perform a miracle in a mysterious climax.Johannes has a miraculous return to sanity, instead of believing he is Jesus Christ he invokes Jesus Christ over the dead body. I wont give away the ending:it's something the spectator has to see themselves in order to believe it.The camera is moving all the time between people,diagonally,up and down,across the cabin floor and from scene to scene and room to room.There is a complex combination of rhythms, from the gliding camera right to the way the lines are read.The camera tracks and pans each character at a distance.There is continuous,flowing,horizontallygliding movement.Every character has their distinctive walk and speech and facial expression.Only when Johannes recognizes his delusion does he receive spiritual power,who seems to be given the 'word'that can bring the dead alive.Cinematic illusion makes us believe the unbelievable. The quality of the whole mise-en-scene gives a larger than life transcendence to this group of slow moving and slow talking actors. Based on a play by Munk( a playwright and country priest) killed by the Nazis due to his living and dying by the 'word'(ordet).
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Austere but Magnificent, 6 Aug. 2008
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This review is from: Ordet [1954] [DVD] (DVD)
Stark,deliberately paced religious tale from the prolific Dreyer(five films in fourty years)centres on the Borgen family who have largely been ostracised by the rest of the community mainly in part to a religious conversion spearheaded by Peter,the village tailor.Things come to a head when Anders Borgen wishes to marry Anna, the tailor's daughter.
Family patriarch Morten(henrik Malberg)tries to reach a compromise with Peter while simultaneously having his faith severely tested by a son Johannes gone mad and another Mikkel whose wife Inger is trying to give birth.
Ordet adapted from the play by Munk explores the differences between orthodox religion and personal faith with great skill and the cast are uniformly excellent especially Emil Hass Christensen as the loving Mikkel and Brigette Federspiel as his adored wife Inger.
Slow at times with the character of Johannes becoming more irritating than necessary but wait for the ending - one of the most beautiful and spine tingling in the history of cinema.
Ordet together with the superb Day of Wrath,Vampyr,Master Of The House,Passion of Joan Of Arc and Gertrud constitute a body of work that places Dreyer up there as one of cinema's greatest filmmakers.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally!!, 2 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Ordet [1954] [DVD] (DVD)
i have been looking for this film for almost 15 years..... i saw it on german tv once but did not remember the name of the film or the director..... i have searched the internet again and again vaguely rembering the storyline but no luck! finally, thanks to amazon i found it based on my purchase history and i couldn't be happier. thanks for all the detailed reviews which reassured me this was really the film i've been looking for for so long, this made my day :-)and yes, it's magnificient (sorry for the pointless review)!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God"., 21 April 2011
By 
Carlos Vazquez Quintana "cvq" (Linares- Spain) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ordet [1954] [DVD] (DVD)
But this is the case in this excellent movie, at less for me, people makes too much use and misuse of the name of God, and that's supposed a sin. I don't know the situation and customs in Denmark by the decade of 1920, but I think that's excessive. Trade, cattle, the work of the farm, business and marriages and all things are made and determined in naming God. But, what God is this? There are several opinions and personages which thinks different and so, some tolerance. Even curiously, there appears a rationalist doctor who briefly exposes something similar to the theories of Freud when he has to attend to the unfortunate labor that has to finish in the death of Inger. The doctor says so, because Johannes, the son of the rich farmer Morten, is supposed to have become mad owing his studies of Kierkegaard. But this is the case the answer, the word or "Ordet" seems to be the property of this troubled man who finally disappears mysteriously and apparently makes the final miracle. For that, he needs the security of Maren, the little girl.
After all this, it's your turn to opinate
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5.0 out of 5 stars Strange and Haunting, 24 May 2014
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This review is from: Ordet [1954] [DVD] (DVD)
Really strange film one that I knew nothing about untill the purchse which I sought about randomly. This is a sensational cult film. The only other film that I have ever rated so Highly is ' Whatever Happened To Baby Jane' starring Betty Davis. I love Ordet because it is out of the norm. I wouldnt necessarily say it is a master piece,however i think it is mesmerising.
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Ordet [1954] [DVD]
Ordet [1954] [DVD] by Carl Theodor Dreyer (DVD - 2006)
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