Master of the House 1925
The plot follows the Frandsen family, mostly centered around the selfish, ruthless, disagreeable father, Viktor (Johannes Meyer). He is never satisfied with the way his house is run and the way his children behave. His hard-working wife, Ida (Astrid Holm), does everything she can (and in some cases more than she should) to try to keep Viktor happy… to no avail. He berates and chastises her at every turn, and he treats his three children as if they are more like servants then members of his family. Everyone tip-toes around him, except of course, for his childhood nursemaid, Nana (Mathilde Nielsen). She is disappointed with the way he has turned out and isn’t afraid to put him in his place.

After a confrontation between Viktor and Ida, Nana suggests to Ida that she go stay with her mother and seek some medical attention for her deteriorated condition. Nana stays and begins running the household, but not in the way Ida had, and certainly not in the way Viktor would prefer. What is at first a shock to Viktor, quickly becomes a life-lesson that he is not soon to forget.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Cast: Johannes Meyer, Astrid Holm, Karin Nellemose
Country: Denmark
Genre: Drama, Silent

BD50, DVD9 | 1080i AVC, NTSC | 01:47:11 | 38.6 Gb + 7.70 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English Intertitles
Subtitles: none


Interview with Casper Tybjerg - in this video interview, Danish film historian Casper Tybjerg discusses the cinematic legacy of Carl Theodor Dreyer and his artistic vision, the unique qualities of Master of the House (and specifically the feminist overtones in it), the roles of the women in the film, some of the key differences between the English intertitles and the original Danish intertitles, etc. The interview was conducted exclusively for Criterion in 2014. In English, not subtitled. (16 min, 1080i).

Visual Essay by David Bordwell - in this video program, film scholar David Bordwell takes a closer look at the production history of Master of the House as well as the evolution of Carl Theodor Dreyer's directing style. In English, not subtitled. (23 min, 1080i).