Pelle the Conqueror (Pelle Erobreren; Pelle Erövraren) is a 1987 film by Bille August that tells the story of two Swedish immigrants to Denmark, a father and son, who try to build a new life for themselves. It stars Pelle Hvenegaard as the young Pelle, with Max von Sydow as his father.
Summary of plot
Based upon the famous 1910 novel
writer Martin Andersen Nexø
, the film is set in the end of the 19th century.
A boat filled with emigrants
arrives at the Danish island of Bornholm
. Among them are Lasse and his son Pelle who have moved to Denmark to find work after the death of Pelle's mother. They find employment at a large farm, but find themselves treated as the lowest form of life. It is only as Pelle starts to speak Danish
that he begins to gain in confidence, but is still discriminated
against as a foreigner. But neither boy nor father is willing to give up their dream of finding a better life than that which they left in Sweden.
Actors and production
The movie also stars Erik Paaske
, Björn Granath
and Morten Jørgensen. It was a co-production between companies in Denmark
, with the screenplay adapted by Bille August
, Per Olov Enquist
, Janus Billeskov Jansen
, Max Lundgren
and Bjarne Reuter
from the 1910 novel of the same name by Martin Andersen Nexø
. This adaptation was directed by August, with a score composed by Stefan Nilsson
Pelle the Conqueror
won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
, 1988; it was submitted to the Academy by the Danish government, giving Denmark its second consecutive win after Babette's Feast
. Max von Sydow was nominated for, but did not win, the Academy Award for Best Actor
. The film also won the Palme d'Or
at the Cannes Film Festival
(1988) and the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film
. It was listed in The New York Times Guide to the Best 1000 Movies Ever Made
the same year.