Lay Down Your Arms!

(Holger-Madsen, DK, 1915)

Martha von Althaus, daughter of old General Count von Althaus, has been married twice. When she was very young, she married a brave officer, Arno von Dotzky. After a few happy years together, he was called to war and tragedy struck, the war robbing Martha of her first husband. She mourned mightily. But, as the years passed, sorrow became melancholy, melancholy became fond memory, from which sprang a renewed zest for life.

Four years after Arno’s death, Martha attends a party at court and meets Fr. von Tilling. Nobility graces the manly contours of his handsomely chiselled face. During a private conversation, he reveals to Martha that he fought alongside her late husband in the war. His dying wish was that he, von Tilling, convey his last regards to Martha. Six months later, Martha and von Tilling marry. Some time passes and again he is called off to war.

Martha misses him so much that she falls into a depression and is eventually admitted into hospital. Informed that her banking firm is bankrupt, she boards a train to the front to find her husband. He has been wounded, however, and taken to the city. At long last, husband and wife are reunited, but now an outbreak of cholera threatens to put a stop to their happiness. Martha’s sister succumbs to the epidemic and soon her father, too, falls ill and dies. Martha and von Tilling are now more determined than ever to fight for peace.

Production company Nordisk Films Kompagni
Distributor Fotorama
Release date and place 18.9. 1915 / Palads
Based on: The novel by Bertha von Suttner 'Die Waffen nieder! Eine Lebensgeschichte', 1889 (Danish: 'Ned med Vaabnene! En Levnedsskildring' 1892).

Directed by

Holger-Madsen  Director 


Carl Th. Dreyer  Screenwriter 

Cinematography by

Marius Clausen Camera Operator


Philip Bech Count von Althaus, Martha's father
Augusta Blad Martha, The count's daughter
Johanne Fritz-Petersen Rosa, Martha's sister
Alf Blütecher Arno von Dotzky, Martha's first husband
Olaf Fønss Fr. von Tilling, Martha's second husband
Carl Lauritzen Knobelauch, Secretary of War
Frederik Jacobsen Bresser, Doctor
Birger von Cotta-Schønberg Konrad, Martha and Rosa's cousin
Dagmar Kofoed  
Oluf Billesborg  
Ellen Ferslev  
Ingeborg Olsen  
Luzzy Werren  
Axel Mattsson  
Preben Rist




Other titles 
Ned med Vaabnene (DK - original title)
Die Waffen nieder! (DE)
Bas les armes! (FR)
Abajo las armas! (ES)
La guerra (IT)


1509 metres

Technical data
35 mm - 1,33:1 - b/w - mute