09 20 Oct '24
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Carl Theodor Dreyer

Præsidenten (The President)

75' - 1919 - Drama
Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer With: Richard Christensen, Christian Engelstoft, Hallander Helleman
Dreyers first feature film, based on a novel by Karl Franzos, was a melodrama like most films made at that time, with seduction, fobidden love, amazing coincidences and an extremely theatrical acting and film style, a succession of flashbacks which reminded the audience of D.W. Griffith. Dreyer admitted later that he was very inexperienced at the time: ‘I gave the actors tremendous freedom and it was only later that I saw all my mistakes on the screen.’ In spite of that, the characteristics of Dreyer's later films are obvious: he allowed amateur actors to play minor roles to make the film more authentic and paid a lot of attention to the sets which were designed in sharp black and white contrast to increase the dramatic effect. ‘Praesidenten’ also for the first time presents a subject which would be a recurring theme for Dreyer: an isolated woman who becomes the victim of an intolerant society. The film did well at the box office at the time which will probably seem strange to contemporary film fans. (wp)

Image gallery

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Carl Theodor Dreyer


Richard Christensen, Christian Engelstoft, Hallander Helleman


Carl Theodor Dreyer, Karl Emil Franzos

Director of Photography

Hans Vaagø

More information

Countries of production


Screenplay based on

"Der Präsident " (Karl Emil Franzos)



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