The President

Carl Th. Dreyer, Denmark, 1919

71 min.DK/FeatureDrama, Melodrama, Historical dramaSilent films

An eminent judge is brought face to face with a youthful peccadillo when he recognises as none other than his illegitimate daughter a young woman accused of murdering her illegitimate child, fruit of a similar lapse with a young squire of the manor. The girl does not deny responsibility for the child's death (though there are extenuating circumstances), and since the judge's family motto is "The majesty of justice is the most holy thing on Earth", she is duly condemned to death. After much heart-searching however - he has just been honoured with promotion and faces ruin if he interferes - the judge helps his daughter to escape after all official appeals fail. Three years later, after travelling abroad, he marries her off to a nice young man who loves her; attempts to expiate his sin against justice by confessing his part in the escape, but is told to keep quiet or his daugther will suffer; and chooses the only way out by retiring to the ruins of his ancestral mansion to commit suicide. (Excerpt from "The Cinema of Carl Dreyer", 1971, by Tom Milne).
Basic information Credits Festivals & awards Materials
Original title Præsidenten
Danish title Præsidenten
International titles Der Präsident, Le président, El presidente, Presidenten, Vaterherz
Director Carl Th. Dreyer
Screenplay Carl Th. Dreyer
Based on Efter roman af Karl Emil Franzos, udgivet på dansk i 1883.
Director of Photography Hans Waagø
Production designer Jens G. Lind
Appearance Halvard Hoff, Elith Pio, Carl Meyer, Jacoba Jessen
Production country Denmark
Production company Nordisk Films Kompagni
Domestic distribution Fotorama
International sales
Technical info 1673 meter, 35 mm, 1,33:1, Black/white, Silent
Danish theatrical release 09.02.1920
Cinemas Panoptikon Urpremiere i Sverige 3. februar 1919.
Danish rating Allowed for all
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Production company Nordisk Films Kompagni
Domestic distribution Fotorama


Direction Carl Th. Dreyer


Script Carl Th. Dreyer


Cinematography Hans Waagø

Production design

Production design Jens G. Lind


Karl Victor v. Sendlingen, retspræsident Halvard Hoff
Franz Victor v. Sendlingen, Karls far Elith Pio
v. Sendlingens farfar Carl Meyer
Maika Jacoba Jessen
Franz, i tjeneste hos præsidenten Hallander Hellemann
Brigitta, tjenestepige hos præsidenten Fanny Petersen
Victorine Lippert, Karl Victors datter Olga Raphael-Linden
Hermine Lippert, Victorines mor Betty Kirkeby
Vicepræsident Werner Axel Madsen
Forsvarsadvokat Georg Berger Richard Christensen
Offentlig anklager Peter Nielsen
Journalist Christian Engelstoft
Weiden, Victorines senere mand Jon Iversen
Den sidste præst Carl Lauritzen

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