Pelle the Conqueror

Watch Pelle the Conqueror

  • PG-13
  • 1988
  • 2 hr 37 min
  • 7.8  (11,735)

Pelle the Conqueror is a 1987 Danish-Swedish film directed by Bille August, based on an internationally acclaimed novel by Martin Andersen Nexø. Set on the island of Bornholm, Denmark, in the early 20th century, the movie tells the story of a poor Swedish widower, Lasse (Max von Sydow), and his young son, Pelle (Pelle Hvenegaard), who move to Denmark in search of a better life. The film follows their struggles as they face poverty, discrimination, and social injustice, while striving to make a living and find a sense of belonging in a new country.

At the beginning of the film, Lasse and Pelle are seen in Sweden, living in a cramped and dark basement where they work as laborers in a farm. Lasse is old and weak, while Pelle is a curious and imaginative child who dreams of exploring the world around him. After Lasse loses his job, he decides to take a chance and go to Denmark, where he believes life is better. They arrive in a small Danish fishing village, where they are greeted with suspicion and hostility by the locals, who see them as unwanted outsiders.

Despite the challenges they face, Lasse and Pelle manage to find work at a farm owned by the wealthy farmer Kongstrup (Erik Paaske). However, they soon realize that their new employer is a brutal and exploitative man who treats his workers like slaves. They are forced to work long hours without rest and endure verbal and physical abuse. Pelle, who is sent to attend a school for poor children, also faces discrimination and bullying from his classmates, who ridicule him for his Swedish accent and poor clothes.

As the story progresses, Lasse becomes increasingly resentful of Kongstrup's abuse and decides to rebel against him in order to protect his rights and dignity. Meanwhile, Pelle becomes friends with a kind and intelligent girl, Anna, who helps him cope with his struggles and encourages him to pursue his dreams. Together, they explore the natural beauty of the island and learn about the world through books and stories.

The film's climax is a powerful and emotionally charged scene, where Lasse and Pelle confront Kongstrup and his gang, and demand their rights and freedom. The scene is a symbol of the struggle for justice and equality, and the power of hope and solidarity in the face of oppression.

Overall, Pelle the Conqueror is a captivating and poignant film that portrays the harsh realities of poverty and social inequality, as well as the resilience and courage of the human spirit. The performances of Max von Sydow and Pelle Hvenegaard are outstanding, conveying the depth and complexity of their characters with subtlety and sensitivity. The cinematography and music also add to the film's emotional impact, creating a vivid and immersive atmosphere that transports the viewers into the world of the story. Pelle the Conqueror won several awards, including the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and remains a timeless classic of Danish and Swedish cinema.

Pelle the Conqueror is a 1988 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 37 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.8.

Pelle the Conqueror
Where to Watch Pelle the Conqueror
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 37 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (11,735)