Long but rewarding, the Danish-Swedish Pelle the Conqueror is based on the early passages of Martin Andersen Nexoe's four-volume novel. Pelle (Pelle Hvengaard) is the son of a 19th-century Swedish farmer (Max Von Sydow). Seeking escape from their poverty-stricken surroundings, father and son emigrate to Denmark. Upon arrival, however, they are treated like indentured servants, leading to a profound ideological turnaround for the impressionable Pelle. In the original novel, Pelle ended up embracing Communism. Nexo's political overtones are soft-pedalled in the film, which concentrates on the close, indestructable relationship between Pelle and his father. Adapted for the screen by Bille August, Pelle the Conqueror won the 1988 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
This is a must see for any lover of film. The story of a Swedish boy and his father and their experiences as immigrants in another country (Denmark,) in the 19th century. An unforgettable story and sweeping beautiful cinematography. The scenes set in raging frozen waters are amazingly staged and filmed. You will absolutely love the story though it is
sometimes a depressing look into the lives of Dickens-like characters, it is a masterpiece and never boring. It will grab your heart and not let go. One of the all time great foreign films. Great film making.
.Set at the turn of the 20th century a father and son immigrate to Denmark to escape poverty in Sweden. The film examines the power some humans hold over other humans wether it be economic, class division and how not too long ago the western world had poverty we seem to accept in so much of the world today.
A quite good movie, with a truly great performance by Max Von Sydow. The film itself is overlong, and a bit too crowded with sub-plots that do not get developed enough. On the other hand, the intricate, specific details of the sad, Dickensian world of this Danish farm in the late 19th century feel real, harsh, and often fascinating. The young boy playing Pelle is good, but not as great as the role calls for. But Von Sydow is so subtle, so heartbreaking, so complex that he almost lifts this into "great film" territory just by himself.