Pelle the Conqueror (Pelle Erobreren) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Pelle the Conqueror (Pelle Erobreren) Reviews

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January 9, 2010
Arguable the best film of 87, now almost forgotten. Another fine film with von Sydow, that even with it's highly rated record the film hasn't done well in people memories, which is a shame.
November 21, 2009
I'm clearly a sucker for these old-man/young-boy Euro movies. This one also echoes my worldview that for life to begin, one must leave home. (William Goldman called it "the first rite of passage epic I can remember," which feels apt.)
October 30, 2009
Pelle The Conqueror was another good movie I have seen during this week. Eventough it was 2.30 hours long it was a beautiful journey of a father Lasse played by Max Von Sydow, and his son, Pelle,after they moved from Sweden to have a better life in Denmark.But what they have found was a brutal and hard life.Working on a farm Pelle and his father struggled to survive. The movie was more than just their life on this farm. It was about the dreams of this young boy and his ambition to see America.The end was a little confusing for me, when Pelle needed to move on from his father to discover more from life. Amazing movie.
September 21, 2009
This film is terrific. The story of an immigrant father and his son who try desperately to find their place in the world and be free. Max von Sydow is excellent as Pelle's father. His expressive eyes say it all when it comes to portraying desperation, anger and hope. Even though the film is hard at times, it also brilliantly portrays the one thing that drives the characters and the central theme of the movie - hope.
August 27, 2009
when i found out it was based on a nexo novel, i knew pretty much what to expect. great acting, great directing. how can farm-life misery look so beautiful on a screen?
August 9, 2009
This is my favorite movie on fathers and sons with a brilliant performance by one of my favorite actors Max von Sydow as a aging Swedish father immigrating to Denmark with his son. The film is touching with it's story telling, scope and acting by both Pelle and Max, filled with excellent cinematography of the Danish country side. The actor who plays Pelle was named after the character in the 1910 novel the movie was based on.
½ July 4, 2009
Wonderful story, wonderful filming, directing, acting ... masterpiece !!
July 3, 2009
One of the greatest coming-of-age films of all time.
Super Reviewer
May 21, 2009
want to see this because it won best foreign-language film at the oscars and at the golden globes, and was nominated for best foreign film by NBR
½ February 2, 2009
Bille August's passionately directed epic, set in Denmark at the beginning of the twentieth century, uses its beginning, a humbling of our protagonists' dreams, in an interesting way. Through the seasons that follow during a long year on a hellish farm, the very young title character's decrepit old father's idealistic vision malleates and stays stubbornly alive inside him, even though life seems stacked to punish him for his hope of a better life.

Life on the farm is defined by the land, the seasons, and the personalities of the people who live there. The owners, the Kongstrups, only sporadically appear. They live in a big manor house far removed, angled at a position of power from the barns, stables and farm buildings, and Mrs. Kongstrup spends her agonizing days drinking while her despicably proud husband chases tail, with no shame, not even about the one hapless wench who appears at his front door time and again with their illegitimate child. In the laborers' quarters, life is the bullying of the manager, who ascertains weaknesses in his farm hands and feels only inclined to exploit them. Modeling himself after him is the insecure trainee, a bully compensating atop his high horse who feels particularly fulfilled in tormenting Pelle.

Pelle is played by an impressive young boy, but the film's real star is Max von Sydow, that masculine brick house of vitality and frankness, who rivals Brando in the natural practice of never resonating a trace of visible acting, of not appearing to be, not acting, but being absolute and guileless even in complex and heavy-handed scenes. Von Sydow's work in the film has been honored with an Academy Award nomination for best actor, well deserved, particularly after a distinguished career in which he stood at the center of many of Ingmar Bergman's greatest films. But there is not a bad performance in the movie, and the young actor, Pelle Hvenegaard, is quite convincing, having been literally born to play this part, as in real life he was named after the character in the original novel. When another actor calls to you while the cameras are rolling, and your real name is not your character's, that is a basic and obvious psychological obstacle. When that actor calls your real name in the same circumstance, it is a gift.

The film is an absorbing entertainment because it is a richness of events. There are scenes of punishingly taxing toil in the fields and the stables, under the eye of the Manager. Invigorating friction between the Manager and a defiantly free-spirited worker. The chicanery in the mansion, where Mrs. Kongstrup wrests a distinctly caustic revenge on her psychologically abusive philanderer of a husband. The heartbreak of a farm worker, who has fallen in love above her class. Most of all, for me, there are so many great movies that give us heart-swelling mother-child relationships, and here is a tear-gushing father-child one.
January 19, 2009

i never was a fan of this film...
but its not a bad one!
January 6, 2009
Beyazperdede izledigimde Sisli Site kocaman bir sinemaydi. Hey gidi gunler.
½ December 13, 2008
This film possesses a very rare sort of intelligence. One which gives it the power to create deeply touching moments and those of extreme tension (sometimes with the aid of fairly self-aware keep-em-guessing type of trickery) yet, all the while, the film never put its soul in jeopardy, never loses its grasp of life's harsh, beautiful greys. And then, of course, there are the numerous moments of full-on brilliance sprinkled throughout the piece. The "real Swedish raspberries" on top.
December 8, 2008
No tenia hijos y me dejó muy afectado,
Ahora no la vería nunca mas.
Pero aparte de una de las historias mas tristes que vi ,es una pelicula excelente
November 9, 2008
Had to have a danish movie on my list - lucky for me Pelle is a masterpiece
July 19, 2008
Everything you'd expect in a Scandinavian movie -- long, bleak, depressing -- but really a great movie. Outstanding acting with an outstanding depiction of rural and social life at the turn of the 20th century.
July 10, 2008
Very bleak, with tragedy looming around every corner, but with enough small triumphs to keep it from becoming unbearably depressing. Hvenegaard does quite well in the title role, but one cannot overlook Von Sydow as his well-meaning but somewhat ineffectual father... it's one of his best performances. August does some wonderful work directing his own screenplay. The austere aura of the farm evokes a feeling of quiet desperation, while the wide snowy vistas harbor the hope for a better world.
½ July 1, 2008
This is such a beautiful and heartfelt tale of working class Danish folk during one period in history. I absolutely loved this movie and the characterizations. Very impressed and moved.
June 28, 2008
Max Von Sydow rules!
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