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Day of Wrath

Day of Wrath

1943
Drama
1h 50m
In a 17th-century Danish village, an old woman is accused of witchcraft. In the shadow of her flight, capture, confession, and burning at the stake, the young wife of the town's aging pastor falls in love with the pastor's son (imdb)
Your probable score
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Day of Wrath

1943
Drama
1h 50m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 77.14% from 711 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(711)
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Rated 23 Sep 2007
90
97th
Dreyer's is the most depressing cinematic worlds ever. Everyday life is furnished with death, disease, hatred and madness. Dreyer wraps it in a metaphysic that is not one of existential vacuum but of honest-to-God religious conceptions, though not very optimistic ones. In Day of Wrath there is an interdependence of right and wrong, redemption and damnation, love and spite, fact and fiction, heaven and hell... and you have to be dead to get the upper hand in a conflict.
Rated 05 Apr 2010
10
97th
A masterpiece from Dreyer. As with 'The Passion of Joan of Arc', the use of chiaroscuro is stunning, combining heavy shadows and limited lighting with a series of trenchant religious themes. Difficult to determine its outcome, its assertiveness and subtlety kept my eyes glued to the screen. A piercing tale of cruelty and its inevitable repercussions. Recommended!
Rated 24 Apr 2012
96
96th
For a film touching upon so much morality, Dreyer's work is brazenly enigmatic. An absolutely brilliant contemplation on that old dogma that there is no difference between sins of Thought, Word and Deed. Carrying the point home is the film's presentation, beautiful in its heavy, thick oppression (there's no doubt when a character mumbles, "Death just brushed by my cheek"), and acting dancing the line between operatic and naturalistic. The old woman is a standout.
Rated 24 Dec 2010
9
98th
Dreyer's camerawork is astonishing. His cold, lingering gaze and haunting black and white photography create an oppressive atmosphere, one which perfectly captures this film's theme. The text is just as impressive and the extraordinarily talented cast only accentuates its effectiveness. A bleak and austere masterpiece.
Rated 17 Jan 2008
85
94th
It may not be one of my two favorite Dreyer masterpieces ('Ordet' and 'La passion de Jeanne d'Arc') but it's an unusual and unforgettable film.
Rated 26 Apr 2009
92
97th
A frustrating but very rewarding film. Dreyer is meticulous with every aspect of the production, the shot composition, the pacing, the acting and most of all in the way he creates tension in a spiritual drama. At once critical and reverential, cynical and hopeful, you can't be certain how anything is going to turn out and it makes the drama that much more effective.
Rated 26 Sep 2019
5
93rd
Denied by Dreyer to be a parable of Nazi occupation, and indeed its religious text is richer than mere allegory, but it's not an unjust interpretation. In any case, this depiction of spiritual anguish beneath the weight of repressive authoritarian moral codes is amplified by the severity of Dreyer's ascetic perspective. Its slow burn is mesmerizing, scattered with tantalizing moments when it seems the devil's hand may actually be at play.
Rated 23 Nov 2011
90
93rd
Bleak, beautifully told story about witchcraft, repressed sexuality, and religious zealotry. The bleak cinematography and understated acting help create a complex, depressing world of cruel punishment and unattainable love. Wonderful and unexpected.
Rated 23 Aug 2016
83
95th
It is easy to see how Days of Wrath influenced Bergman's masterpiece The Seventh Seal with its heavy use of shadow and grim religious themes. The camera work is less fluid and assured than on later Dreyer films, and the use of music is too dramatic and feels almost Hollywood, but there is real complexity at work here in what would have been a conventional moral exercise in the hands of a lesser director. It's an ambiguous and terrifying look at how dogma can pervert otherwise decent humans.
Rated 28 Sep 2017
87
90th
Maybe the weirdest pacing i've seen in a movie. Completely out of touch with real time.
Rated 11 Feb 2015
50
37th
Certainly the cinematography, use of light and acting is very good, but the approach seems to almost justify witch-hunting. The characters have a strange duality, the Pastor is shown as just but in reality forces a way too young woman into marriage, his wimp son who is supposedly tricked by the young woman, the Pastor's mother who is shown as correct but is the worst witch and the girl who is portrayed as evil but is more a victim of this man centered society
Rated 21 Jun 2014
90
97th
Gets right what every other modern story about witchcraft and religious conviction gets wrong: that the victims of it believe it just as much as their accusers. Whether it's REAL is left ambiguous, and is beside the point.
Rated 24 Apr 2021
70
41st
Starts out great, found it much more compelling than my previous Dreyer encounters. But I have to admit slowly losing interest in Anne breaking bad, to the point where I just kinda wanted her to go away. "He's just not that into you." I'm sure I'm missing all of the brilliant subtext as usual.
Rated 31 Jul 2008
4
70th
Day of Wrath is anything but easy to get into, but it definitely sat with me after I had finished it. The incredibly heavy religious themes, the austere mood, the closed-in characters, make for a difficult watch, but a very rewarding one, and I definitely think there's a chance I'd like this one even more with a rewatch or two. As it stands, it's pretty damned good to begin with.
Rated 11 Sep 2009
9
94th
Intense and slow, good and evil, religious and anti-religious all the way through. Thematically and aesthetically similar and only slightly inferior to Dreyer's pièce de résistance, "La passion de Jeanne d'Arc".
Rated 19 Feb 2019
82
84th
Somptuous. It feels like watching slowly animated classic Spanish and Dutch paintings at times (but why so many lighting mismatches between cuts though?). It could have been a masterpiece but the story suffers A LOT from the lack of explanation of the son's behavior and motives. While we can understand Anne's reasons to enter this fling, Martin's are totally absent. It deteriorated my experience.
Rated 30 May 2024
73
91st
#24#, rw2, story, ratings, Project 100-80-60-40-20"-1943#5
Rated 25 Jan 2017
85
88th
"Christianity is the metaphysics of hangman" (Nietzsche). Widely known as an allegory of Nazi barbarism of WWII, DoW is about the genealogy of oppression, fascism and the logic of sacrifice from Christianity to modern totalitarianism. Dreyer's body of work can be read parallel with Weber's "Protestant Ethics" & Nietzsche's attack on christianity. Here, Dreyer gives a hope of resistance through youthful energy and rebellious desires. Plus, as always, a stunning & transcendental cinematography.
Rated 04 Jun 2007
90
72nd
Seemingly quiet and simple, but packs an emotional wallop.
Rated 04 Apr 2024
70
54th
If it was me, I would try not to bang my dad's hot young new wife
Rated 31 Dec 2017
85
86th
Slow-moving, yet surprisingly tense., Day of Wrath is a film seeping to the brim with ambiguity, subtext and symbolism and it demands repeat viewings in order to decipher.it's mysteries. A masterful combination of brilliant camerawork and creative storytelling.
Rated 24 Jan 2018
97
92nd
A beautifully shot, but stark, dark and brooding film that raises some very important questions about power and authority and the abuse of it. It's not just a bleak depiction of the affects of the abuse of power, it's also a very effective thriller. It's not going to give you a whole lot of laughs, but it is a masterpiece, and that in itself makes this a pleasure to watch.
Rated 05 Dec 2018
80
99th
he grim mastery of Carl Theodor Dreyer. Almost a reversal of his classic silent Prästänkan (1920), except with a unique darker shade to the atmosphere. Far away from anything coming out of Danish cinema since the arrival of sound. Actually Danish cinema was frustrating during the 30s. So many pure nonsense films which weren't even funny, while this great director was more or less frozen out by producers. Thank God, he got the chance to make a few more legendary pictures during this era too.
Rated 22 Dec 2021
5
88th
For the most part, powerful; very powerful. An anti-climatic, docile end doesn't take much away from this brilliant, crisp piece.
Rated 17 Apr 2023
85
93rd
This movie has the bleak mood of judgment written all over it. Religious, heavy on the themes of moral choices, it draws further power from the cast. Especially so for Lisbeth Movin, who has such a haunting look about her that it's easy to believe that she walks on the knive's edge of wrong and right choices. Her eyes are intense! Loved the lighting here and the bleakness that the scenes achieved.
Rated 21 Feb 2019
90
77th
90.00
Rated 20 Mar 2023
64
50th
Starts off at a reasonable pace, then gets slow for the last two thirds. Performances are fine, but I would not want to see this again.
Rated 02 Dec 2020
90
90th
In Ebert's review of Ordet he said "[Dreyer] was able to make only one feature each in the 1920s ("The Passion of Joan of Arc"), the 1940s ("Vampyr"), the 1950s ("Ordet") and the 1960s ("Gertrud")". Had he really never heard of this?
Rated 21 Nov 2022
88
90th
As super serious as you'd expect from Dreyer, this drama works extremely well. I liked it more than Ordet or Passion of Joan of Arc. I think it holds up very well to modern day scrutiny. The performance of Movin is just fantastic. Don't watch this (or any Dreyer, really), if you're feeling down, but this is just a treat. It feels very much like something Bergman might have made later.
Rated 18 Jun 2022
60
35th
It's a fine movie, but it's hard not to compare this with Joan of Arc with the heavy religious themes and the expressions not necessarily with words but with facial cues. Here, though, the judgment comes not from the Inquisition but from the other characters (and even themselves). The starkness of the plot and the lighting makes you think it's a simple story, although there's quite a bit of subtext hidden away.
Rated 14 May 2022
45
46th
okay movie
Rated 02 Jun 2010
82
93rd
Despite the beauty of its cinematography and the painterly composition of its images, as well as the complexity of the way in which it explores its themes, this was for me not quite the masterpiece it clearly is for many others. It is, nevertheless, an intriguing and frequently gripping movie.
Rated 01 Mar 2008
86
77th
# 280
Rated 19 Dec 2008
87
74th
266
Rated 21 Jan 2009
90
93rd
a remarkable film, though not quite as perfect as Ordet. who else was making such films in 1943??
Rated 02 May 2009
89
94th
A stark and powerful film about sin, piety, paranoia, fear and passion. Absolutely dripping with austerity. Dreyer's aesthetic and worldview seem to me very influential on Bergman's work.
Rated 12 Sep 2009
90
86th
This is exactly the kind of movie that, to a 21st-century American, looks like it's going to be as dull as dust... until you sit down to actually see it, and pay attention... and find that it is not. A small movie that has been polished to a high gleam, making you realize that it only sounds boring because many have tried but almost no one can do this kind of story as well as Dreyer can. Excellent acting and lighting effects, and exactly the right ending
Rated 12 Dec 2009
83
82nd
Serious, stark cinema, peerlessly photographed by Carl Andersson.
Rated 24 Dec 2009
98
97th
A very fine film about sexual passion in a repressive society.
Rated 13 Jan 2010
87
74th
267
Rated 24 Feb 2016
13
69th
Star Rating: ★★★1/2
Rated 17 Jan 2011
87
80th
The pace of the movie drags you down to the unjoyfull experiences of psychological persecution and physical torture built into Danish religions.
Rated 30 Nov 2011
87
74th
#263
Rated 17 Feb 2012
8
92nd
Stark black and white cinematography and a well told, slow paced story of religion , witchcraft and passion. A great watch.
Rated 20 May 2012
70
48th
Dreyers characters feel the most human here, all of them, which is a bit of an achievement for a man who, despite his intentions, oftens ends in very elaborate formalism.
Rated 08 Jul 2012
100
96th
watched: 2012, 2023
Rated 15 Aug 2012
80
86th
I'm always so impressed by Dreyer's slow pacing, often with a background sound of a clock ticking - always the same, very monotonous - or the wind outside. Within it lies extreme tension that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I found both Ordet and Passion of Joan of Arc better though even if this is still great.
Rated 23 Nov 2013
6
83rd
very claustrophobic and bleak film about religious witch hunts. there are obvious parallels between dreyer and bergman, not least their visual constructions, and especially between something like this and (say) the seventh seal...but dreyer is simpler and stripped to the very essentials.
Rated 16 Nov 2015
90
98th
impressive. timeless. ahead of its time.

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