Pelle the Conqueror (Pelle Erobreren) (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes

Pelle the Conqueror (Pelle Erobreren) (1988)

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Movie Info

Long but rewarding, the Danish-Swedish Pelle the Conqueror is based on the early passages of Martin Andersen Nexoe's four-volume novel. Pelle (Pelle Hvengaard) is the son of a 19th-century Swedish farmer (Max Von Sydow). Seeking escape from their poverty-stricken surroundings, father and son emigrate to Denmark. Upon arrival, however, they are treated like indentured servants, leading to a profound ideological turnaround for the impressionable Pelle. In the original novel, Pelle ended up embracing Communism. Nexo's political overtones are soft-pedalled in the film, which concentrates on the close, indestructable relationship between Pelle and his father. Adapted for the screen by Bille August, Pelle the Conqueror won the 1988 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
Rating:
PG-13 (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre:
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
HBO Video

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Cast

Max von Sydow
as Lasse Karlsson
Erik Paaske
as Forvalter
Axel Ströbye
as Kongstrup
Astrid Villaume
as Fru Kongstrup
John Wittig
as Skolelærer
Sofie Gråbøl
as Jomfru Sine
Kristina Tornquist
as Little Anna
Buster Larsen
as Ole Køller
Lars Simonsen
as Niels Køller
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Critic Reviews for Pelle the Conqueror (Pelle Erobreren)

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (1)

Von Sydow was better in Strange Brew, but still rather sweet.

March 1, 2005

Audience Reviews for Pelle the Conqueror (Pelle Erobreren)

A father and son move to a Denmark village where they try to make ends meet amid poverty and few opportunities for advancement. Heart-breaking and stark, Pelle the Conquerer is a strong coming-of-age film featuring an incredible performance by the legendary Max von Sydow. Von Sydow captures his character's desperate search for hope and a future in his most vulnerable performance to date. The film is able to get its audience to believe in these characters' chances despite the fact that the film simultaneously creates a world in which hope seems ridiculous. The murder of peasants, the anti-Swede prejudice, and the domineering overseers all combine to add to cold, desolate milieu. Overall, Max von Sydow and the atmosphere of this film make this film a remarkably compelling story.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

I remember Max Von Sydow at the Oscars as the afterthought as I'm sure most of the Academy had not taken in Pelle the Conquerer. It is an epic to sit through but it is fully deserving of recognition of the one of the better films to come out of the eighties.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

An immigrant movie to cherish -- becuase of the modesty of the hopes of the too-old father and the dreams of his too-young son.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

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