$6 | (1920) | With live piano accompaniment by Marta Waterman | 71 Minutes
“Touching, sweet, and profound, The Parson’s Widow is an early effort from Dreyer that shows flashes of the great filmmaker he would become.” Rowe Reviews
“A warm, and humanistic film, in which sorrow and sympathy coincide with mischief and good humour.” Silent London
The Parson’s Widow (adapted from a 1879 short story by Kristofer Janson, a Norwegian writer equal in stature to Ibsen) is the tale of Sofren, a young theologian who is eager to get a parish and marry his fiance Mari. He is granted a parsonage but is horrified to find out as part of his duties, he is required to marry the widow of the parson before him, Dame Margarete. This may seem bizarre, but in the days before the social safety net, it was a practical solution – marrying a new parson to his forerunner’s widow saved the parish from supporting two separate households or reducing the discarded widow to poverty. Sofren and Mari on the surface bravely accept this situation which could only been viewed as a nightmare to the couple. However, they quietly plot and plan a way to get rid of Dame Margarete, thinking, how hard is it to get rid of a stupid old woman? They soon find out that they have greatly underestimated Dame Margarete and that it would serve them all well if they see her side of things and treat her as a person and not just an annoying problem.
Sunday Silents is made possible by the generous support of Jim Demaio, State Farm Insurance Agent, New Paltz.