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Reviews Counted: 19

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Average Rating: 3.8/5

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Movie Info

Nine years after the release of his acknowledged masterpiece, Ordet, Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer offered this a story of an individual in search of a measure of personal peace and serenity, which proved to be his last completed film. Gertrud Kanning, like the maid Joan in Dreyer's best-known film, La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc, is a woman in isolation. On the eve of her husband's appointment to a cabinet minister post, she announces that she is leaving their loveless marriage. But her younger lover Erland Jansson, a concert pianist, is more interested in keeping their affair illicit than in continuing it in the open. Gertrud's old lover, the poet Gabriel Lidman, offers more than his friendship, but she holds back from turning to him, instead choosing to live out her life in solitude rather than compromise with love again. Adapted from a 1920s play by Hjalmar Soberberg, Gertrud plays out in long takes, with few close-ups and exterior scenes. Though initial critical reaction to the film was largely unfavorable, its reputation has steadily grown, especially considered in the context of Dreyer's long career. ~ Tom Wiener, Rovi


Nina Pens Rode
as Gertrud Kanning
Ebbe Rode
as Gabriel Lidman
Axel Gebuhr
as Kanning
Bendt Rothe
as Gustav Kenning
Vera Gebuhr
as The Kennings' Maid
Anna Malberg
as Kenning's Mother
Eduard Mielche
as The Rector Magnificus
Baard Owe
as Erland Jansson
Axel Ströbye
as Axel Nygren
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Critic Reviews for Gertrud

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (6)

  • It's exquisite, unbearable, and unforgettable.

    May 22, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Dreyer's film depicts repressed carnal desires that merge with Gertrud's inevitably frustrated spiritual one: the longing for a love so total and consuming that it contains the seeds of its own destruction.

    May 22, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Nina Pens Rode has the right luminous quality for the romantic, uncompromising Gertrud, while the men are acceptable if sometimes overindulgent in their roles.

    Dec 25, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • One of the most purely cinematic discourses of the 1960s.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Tony Rayns

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • In his best films there has always been an underlying human concern that sustained us through any longueurs of execution. Here, under the slow, posed pictures, there is nothing but the dated theme described above.

    May 9, 2005 | Full Review…
  • Gertrud... is more museum piece than masterpiece, for this muted and stately study of a woman's quest for perfect love already seems to have been gathering dust for decades.

    Nov 2, 2002 | Full Review…
    TIME Magazine
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Gertrud

morose, but the characteristic cadence and sensitivity of Dreyer's mise en scene can always captivate the heart.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

In "Gertrud," Gustav(Bendt Rothe) is excited at the prospect of being named cabinet minister. His wife Gertrud(Nina Pens Rode) is alright with this because she sees this as confirmation that he does not love her anymore. In fact, she has already taken a younger lover, Erland(Baard Owe), in plotting an escape plan from her marriage. "Gertrud" is an immaculately crafted but stagy and talky melodrama. So much so, that the characters cannot but help express their feelings at every turn, overstating the central conflict between men's ambition and women's love.(What Gertrud should be so concerned with is why she is so continually attracted to alpha males.) Even at the time the movie is set at the turn of the 20th century, this is simply a stereotypical view of gender relations. In fact, there have always been ambitious women but in the past those ambitions were limited by the men around them.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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