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Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer

Denmark 1925 111 mins.

One of Dreyer’s early works, Master of the House was ahead of its time in its examination of marital relations and the power structure of the traditional family home. Viktor Frandsen (Johannes Meyer) is the arch-patriarch who requires perfect order in his home, much to the chagrin of his wife Ida (Astrid Holm) and the couple’s three children. Their outspoken nanny, Mads (Mathilde Nielsen) hatches a plan to restore a sense of balance in the home and put the tyrannical Viktor in his place. Master of the House, a smash commercial success in Denmark on initial release, is now remembered as one of the finest films of its era. “The film is an exceptionally fluid, assured one, and it prepares for more daring Dreyer experiments to come: the fragmented interior spaces of La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc, the creeping camera of Vampyr, and the intensely theatricalized late films Day of Wrath, Ordet, and Gertrud. Little-known at the time, Master of the House has come to be regarded as one of the most quietly perfect of silent films.”—Kristin Thompson, Observations on Film Art.

Genres: Silent Film

Appears in: Carl Theodor Dreyer