Shoot (The word)

The location scouting and casting was done in spring 1954. In an interview for the Alt for Damerne women’s weekly, Dreyer stated that in May he and Lise Munk, the widow of Kaj Munk, went travelling in the area around Vedersø, visiting farms, getting a feel for the environment and talking with the locals.

Thimgaard farm in Thim provided the stable for Borgensgaard in the film, and Hee Church and environs became the Borgensgaard parish church. Moreover, most of the scenes set at Borgensgaard were filmed in or around Valdemar H. Christensen’s farm on the Husby Klit dune. The whole crew lodged at Hotel Vedersø Klit during the weeks of shooting.

Scheduled to last 2½ months, the shoot began on the west coast of Jutland, where the crew shot from 15 July to 13 August 1954. Furniture and fixtures for the sets were lent by the locals, many of who also acted as extras in the films, among them: Valdemar Høgsberg Christensen (farm hand at Borgensgaard), Anne Marie Christensen (maid at Borgensgaard), Ole Petersen (postman), Søren Jeppesen (hearse driver), Anton and Marie Halkier and their son Hans (funeral guests), Mikkel and Malfried Borgensgaard (from the original Borgensgaard – funeral guests), Christian Nielsen (funeral guest) and Christian Bertelsen (funeral guest). Furthermore, the following locals appeared in the prayer meeting at Peter Skrædder’s: Holger Sørensen of Ulfborg, Holger Knudsen of Ulfborg, Niels Hage Jensen of Fjand, Peter Gønge Petersen of Fjalt, Christian Gadegaard of Fjalt, Jens A. Christensen and his wife Maren Christensen of Vedersø, Christian Fjord Tarbensen of Houvig, Peter Sand of Vedersø, Viggo Tårning of Vedersø, smith Laursen and wife of Vedersø, Cecilia Fjord Andersen of Haurvig, Jens and Johanne Bækby Madsen of Sdr. Nissum and Bodil Jacobsen of Søndervig.

After the rain-soaked summer weeks in Jutland, the crew prepared for the interior shots in Copenhagen. Two railroad cars freighted all the "props" to the studios in Hellerup. The shoot stretched into November, bringing the total shooting period to approx. 2½ months.

According to several newspaper reports, Dreyer cut the film in just five days. Approx. 25,000 metres of raw footage had been shot. The final cut was 3,340 metres.

According to Dreyer, the film cost around 500,00 kroner (cf. article in Information, 11 Jan. 1955). Bad weather on the west coast of Jutland and Dreyer’s perfectionism added three extra weeks on location (for a total of five weeks instead of the scheduled two).

By Lisbeth Richter Larsen | 03. June