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The Master of the House U rating

Carl Theodor Dreyer’s richly detailed tragicomedy of domestic manners is by turns funny, intensely emotional and deeply affecting.

Drama 1925 107 mins Silent

Director: Carl Th. Dreyer

Overview

Carl Theodor Dreyer’s richly detailed tragicomedy of domestic manners is by turns funny, intensely emotional and deeply affecting. The failure of his small business turns Victor (Johannes Meyer) into a household tyrant, constantly complaining and criticising his long-suffering family and eventually driving out his saintly wife Ida (Astrid Holm) to stay with relatives. His elderly Nanny Mads (Mathilde Nielsen) assumes control and, under her firm tutelage, he comes to fully appreciate the value of his wife.

For this charming, richly detailed tragicomedy of domestic manners, Dreyer compressed and clarified the stage play by Svend Rindom on which it was based, making it a definitively cinematic rather than theatrical work. Master of the House was particularly successful in France where it was widely admired. It resulted in Dreyer being invited to work there and in the eventual commission of his first large-budget film, The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928).