The Word | Das Wort
God-fearing farmer Morten Borgen has three sons. The oldest, Mikkel, is married to Inger, who is expecting their second child, and middle son Johannes believes he is Jesus Christ. Anders, the youngest, is intent on marrying the daughter of a sectarian tailor whose religious beliefs are at odds with those of the Borgen patriarch. Ultimately the conflict even leads to fisticuffs between the men. A more profound problem are complications with Inger’s pregnancy – to save the mother, the doctor must sacrifice the newborn. But a raging Johannes predicts that Inger will also die … Dreyer’s minimalistic late film is based on a 1925 stage drama set in Jutland. The film, shot in long takes against sparse, theatrical backdrops, is famed for its mobile cinematography and lighting that is reminiscent of “old master” painting. Reduced to its spiritual core – the triumph of faith over rationalism – Ordet’s partisanship toward the preternatural can also be viewed as a profession of faith in the miraculous powers of cinema.
by Carl Theodor Dreyer
with Henrik Malberg, Emil Hass Christensen, Preben Lerdorff Rye, Cay Kristiansen, Birgitte Federspiel, Ann Elisabeth Groth Hansen, Ejner Federspiel
Denmark 1955 Danish 125’ Black/White


  • Henrik Malberg
  • Emil Hass Christensen
  • Preben Lerdorff Rye
  • Cay Kristiansen
  • Birgitte Federspiel
  • Ann Elisabeth Groth Hansen
  • Ejner Federspiel


Written and Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer based on the play “I Begyndelsen var Ordet” by Kaj Munk
Cinematography Henning Bendtsen
Editing Edith Schlüssel
Music Poul Schierbeck
Sound Knud Kristensen
Art Director Erik Aaes
Costumes N. Sandt Jensen
Producer Tage Nielsen

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Danish Film Institute, Copenhagen

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DCP: Danish Film Institute, Kopenhagen