Ordet - The Word

"If you have faith like this child, anything is possible." Johannes

"If you have faith like this child, anything is possible." Johannes


Ordet - The Word (1955) is hypnotic and transformative Danish masterpiece.

Directed by Carl Theodor Dryer.

Starring Henrik Malberg, Emil Hass Christensen, Cay Kristiansen, Preben Lerdorf Rye, Ejner Federspiel.

Dryer based Ordet on Kaj Munks 1925 play, Begyndelsen var Ordet (In The Beginning was the Word). Carl only used one third the dialogue in Kaj's play, but kept his entire message of faith.

Ordet is the most languid and hypnotic narrative pace in film history. I could not stop watching Dryer's Ordet. As visually stunning and as religiously potent as Kim Ki Duk's, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring (2003). Carl and Kim share a passion for telling visually hypnotic stories with a belief that transcends human understanding. In both movies I was in tears at the end; tears of joy. It's hard to put into words the effect this movie had on me.

The acting is superb in its minimalism. I read that Dryer wanted a very specific performance from each actor. To me Preben had the hardest role. How do you as an actor get dialogue to be believable from a character who thinks he is Jesus Christ and quotes him verbatim. In the scene below watch how Rye handles this impossible task. Enjoy!

Trivia - Dryer used only his eyes to set up his lighting for all of his scenes.