The Secret of the Bureau

(Hjalmar Davidsen, DK, 1913)

The Countess de la Garde is on her deathbed. Suddenly, she sits up, staring stiffly at the old armoire. She staggers from her bed towards the armoire, but before she can reach it, she collapses and dies. Her nephew, Chamberlain von Høfft, has been following the direction of her gaze. He never noticed anything odd about this stately piece of furniture, nor does he now, but he decides to keep an eye on it all the same. At an auction of the countess’s estate some time later, he shows up to buy the armoire. Once it is safely his, he figures he will be able to coax from it whatever secret had died with his aunt. At the auction, he runs into a fellow officer, Arthur Fang. A collector, Fang is interested in the old armoire, too. The two officers get into a bidding contest, which Fang ultimately wins. One day Fang is sitting at the old armoire. Absentmindedly, he starts fiddling with a knob he never noticed before, when a secret drawer slides out. In the drawer is a document written by the Countess de la Garde, saying that he, Fang, is her illegitimate son. If he makes this known in time, he will be sole heir to her fortune!

Production company Nordisk Films Kompagni
Distributor  Fotorama

Release date and place

15.9. 1913 / Kosmorama

Directed by

Hjalmar Davidsen  Director 


Carl Th. Dreyer Screenwriter 

Cinematography by

Louis Larsen Camera Operator


Aage Fønss Lieutenant Arthur Fang
Lau Lauritzen Sr. Lieutenant von Høfft
Maja Bjerre-Lind Countess de la Garde, von Høfft's aunt
Charles Willumsen Rentier Faber
Ella Sprange Clara, Faber's daughter
Carl Schenstrøm  
Birger von-Cotta Schønberg  
Ingeborg Bruhn Bertelsen  
Holger Syndergaard  
Ingeborg Jensen  
Lily Frederiksen  
Waldemar Hansen  
Aage Henvig  
Agnes Lorentzen  
Paula Ruff  
Betzy Kofoed

Hjalmar Davidsen



Other titles 
Chatollets Hemmelighed (DK - original title)
Det gamle Chatol (alternative title)
Le secret du vieux secrétaire (FR)
Chifonnierens hemlighet (SE)
Das Geheimfach (DE)


1200 metres

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

Manuscript #1


Manuscript #2