Thursday, July 18, 2013

David's Top Ten - #4 - Ordet (Dreyer, 1955)

I googled "Clue" and this came up... And it is amazing.
For the third and final time, a film on my top ten is on Chelsea’s list at a higher rank.  So, for the third and final time, we have for you a series of clues!  What film could possibly be good enough to be in both of our top fours?  The answer is somewhere hidden in these ridiculously difficult clues!

Clue #1: The film’s production was kickstarted by profits from a movie theater given to the filmmaker as a government reward for his artistic contributions.
Answer:  The Danish government gave Carl Th. Dreyer an art-house movie theater called Dagmar Bio because of his lifelong work.

Clue #2: The film is the second film adaptation of the source material.  The first adaptation starred an actor who is best known for his work as an influential silent-era filmmaker who adapted multiple works written by the first female to ever win the Nobel Prize in Literature.  (And who also happens to star in one of David’s yet-to-be-announced top three films.)
Answer:  The First adaptation to Kaj Munk's I Begyndelsen var Ordet (In the Beginning was the Word) starred Victor Sjöström, who, as a director, adapted multiple works by Nobel Prize writer Selma Lagerlöf. Sjöström also was the star of Bergman's Wild Strawberries, #3 on David's Top Ten.

Clue #3: The film won the grand prize at a major international festival.  Within the last ten years, that same prize was awarded to a filmmaker who frequently collaborates with an actor who famously sang a Madonna song in a film that garnered eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.
Answer: The film won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1955.  In 2004, this award was given to Vera Drake by Mike Leigh, who frequently collaborates with Jim Broadbent, who famously sang "Like a Virgin" in Baz Lurhmann's Moulin Rouge, which was nominated for eight Oscars.

Clue #4: The film has only one name in its credits: the author of the source material.  This author was martyred for his faith by the Gestapo in World War II.
Answer:  Kaj Munk was a Lutheran pastor who was martyred in 1944 for preaching against the Nazi Occupation and the Nazi's persecution of the Jews.

Clue #5: The director’s final film starred an actress in its titular role who was married to an actor who appeared in another film in Chelsea’s Top Ten.  “Hallelujah!”
Answer:  Dreyer's final film, Gertrude, which starred Nina Pens Rode, married to Ebbe Rode, who had a role, Christopher, in Babette's Feast (and Gertrude, actually).

Good googling to you!

The film is Carl Theodor Dreyer's Ordet, which comes in at #1 on Chelsea's Top Ten of All Time.


  1. Phantom Carriage??? Do I win?

  2. You are getting closer! The Phantom Carriage is one of the film's directed by the filmmaker/actor referenced in Clue #2!

  3. Lance, we just decided. The prize for getting this right is a home-cooked meal, courtesy of Chelsea. The pressure is on.

  4. It's gotta be Jerusalem... I think...

  5. The 1996 film that was later broadcast on Scandinavian television? Looks interesting, and nice try, but nope.

    Read Clue #2 a bit more closely - the mystery film's source material is not by a Nobel Prize winner, just many of the films by the man who also starred in the first film adaptation the mystery film's story. =)