Rent Gertrud (1964)

3.7 of 5 from 83 ratings
1h 52min
Rent Gertrud Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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'Gertrud' is the story of a woman's search for a romantic ideal of total and perfect love. A once famous singer now in her early forties, Gertrud makes the decision to leave her lawyer husband for her lover, a young composer. Discovering the next day that her lover has betrayed her, and is unable to give her his total love, Gertrud rejects both husband and lover, choosing a life of solitude and study over the compromise of love that is merely half-measure.
Nina Pens Rode, , , , , , , , Anna Malberg, Edouard Mielche
Jørgen Nielsen
Voiced By:
Gurli Plesner
Hjalmar Söderberg, Carl Theodor Dreyer
BFI Video
Classics, Drama, Romance
Denmark, Classics, Drama, Romance
Release Date:
Run Time:
112 minutes
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.66:1
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Release Date:
Run Time:
116 minutes
Danish LPCM Mono
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.66:1
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
  • Master of the House Restoration Demonstration (2010, 4 mins): split-screen comparison
  • Alternative presentation of 'Day of Wrath' with English opening and closing sequences
  • 'Day of Wrath' audio commentary with Dreyer expert Casper Tybjerg
  • The Cross (Tag Gallagher, 2009, 20 mins): video essay on 'Day of Wrath'
  • Ordet Og Lyset (Helga Theilgaard, 2001, 35 mins): interview with cinematographer Henning Bendtsen
  • Carl Th. Dreyer und Gertrud (Christiane Habich, Reinhard Wulf, 1994, 29 mins): documentary featurette
  • Carl Th. Dreyer Interviewed by Julian Jebb (1965, 8 mins): rare BBC archive film of Dreyer
  • Carl Th. Dreyer - My Metier (Torben Skjodt Jensen, 1995, 93 mins): acclaimed feature-length documentary
  • My Metier interview outtakes (1995, 80 mins): in-depth interviews with Dreyer collaborators
  • Jorgen Roos archive (1949-65, 8 mins): a selection of Dreyer-related archival film material
  • DR Danish television archive (1965-68, 13 mins): rare Dreyer footage and interviews with collaborators
  • An Introduction to the Films of Carl Th. Dreyer by Henning Camre (2003, 10 mins, audio only)
  • An Interview with Ove Brusendorjf of the Danish Film Museum (date unknown, 16 mins, audio only)

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Reviews (1) of Gertrud

A Tale of Ruined Lives. - Gertrud review by GF

Spoiler Alert

In her youth Gertrud falls in love with a rising poet, and lives with him for three happy years. Then she notices that he is paying rather less attention to her than to his career. For this reason she leaves him. She has the unrealistic notion that romantic love should last indefinitely and remain as passionate as it was at the beginning (and moreover that it is the one and only thing in life that matters).

From the time she deserts the poet she lives a frustrated life. She marries another man whom she doesn't love (though she still expects him to show a romantic passion for her). Then she leaves him and falls for a young pianist who only wanted her as a temporary mistress and soon gets shot of her. So neither of these relationships brings her any contentment, and she lives the rest of her life in melancholy solitude.

One wonders why Dreyer wanted to give us a portrait of Gertrud. She is not an attractive character. Her inability to benefit from the possibilities for happiness in her own life ruins the lives both of her first love and of her husband, with either of whom she could have had a good home had she not been so self-centred and so unappreciative of anything except romantic passion.

The story is told with clarity and with the careful artistry that we expect from Dreyer, and it is well acted in a stylised way that has obviously been rigorously controlled by the director. Presumably he was satisfied with his achievement. But whereas some of his earlier films attained the level of tragedy, this one, lacking both dramatic incidents and a worthy protagonist, remains dismal.

2 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

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