Hamsun (1996)




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Movie Info

This powerful Scandinavian biopic chronicles the fall of one of Norway's most respected authors, Knut Hamsun (played by Max von Sydow in one of his most acclaimed performances) who up until WWII was considered one of the greatest Norwegians of the 20th century. At the dawn of the war, the Nobel Prize winning author shocked his countrymen by publicly siding with the Nazis. His wife Marie took it a step further and went to Germany to give lectures. Following the war, both were convicted and branded as traitors. Hamsun attempts to answer the questions surrounding the author and his wife's treachery. By the time the war erupted, Hamsun was an elderly curmudgeon who could barely hear. A profoundly lonely man with hatred of British Imperialism, he was an easy target for Nazi propaganda. His wife Marie, who in Norway is still more vilified than her husband, also had her reasons to support the German party, but while though-provoking, they don't invite much sympathy.
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
Norsk Filmstudio A/S

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Max von Sydow
as Knut Hamsun
Ghita Nørby
as Marie Hamsun
Anette Hoff
as Ellinor Hamsun
Äsa Söderling
as Cecilia Hamsun
Eindride Eidsvold
as Tore Hamsun
Gard B. Eidsvold
as Arild Hamsun
Garb B. Eidsvold
as Arild Hamsun
Harald Brenna
as Steersman
Jesper Christensen
as Otto Dietrich
Per Christensen
as Publisher's editor
Nina Englund
as Nurse 2
Svein Gundersen
as Chauffeur
Ernst Jacobi
as Adolf Hitler
Per Jansen
as Harald Grieg
Sverre Anker Ousdal
as Vidkun Quisling
Frode Rasmussen
as Meeting leader
Finn Schau
as Doctor
Edgar Selge
as Terboven
Gro Solemdal
as Noerholm's cook
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Critic Reviews for Hamsun

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (1)

An intriguing case study of the corrosive power of art over love and intimacy.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Film Journal International

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Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Top Critic

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February 21, 2008

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July 3, 2005

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Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for Hamsun

Quisling(n) - a traitor who aids an occupying force In 1936, Nobel Laureate Knut Hamsun(Max von Sydow) and his wife of thirty years, Marie(Ghita Norby), have a massive row that lays bare the anger that has always existed just beneath the surface, especially as it involves their sending away the kids to boarding school so he can write and his not writing. In the meantime, Marie goes to hear a not-so-crowded lecture by National Socialist Vidkun Quisling(Sverre Anker Ousdal). So, when Marie and Knut reunite, they have something to talk about. Aided by an excellent performance by Max von Sydow in the title role, "Hamsun" would have worked much better as an intimate drama, instead of going for epic stature which only serves to muddle the details of this potentially interesting story with marginally relevant family details. Overall, this is the life of a writer considered a national treasure in his home country of Norway who also acted against its national interests during World War II. In fact, Hamsun did try to use his position to do some good, but as a right wing anti-communist monarchist not having read the big print had no real idea who he was dealing with in the Nazis. It is also possible that he believed their propaganda just as the Nazis used him for propaganda purposes with the cameras going non-stop. All of which just goes to prove you cannot tell everything about an artist from their creative work.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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