Häxan Film Still

Häxan

Benjamin Christensen

 
Häxan (Criterion DVD)

DVD

1 Disc

SRP: $39.95

Criterion Store price:$31.96

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  • Denmark
  • 1922
  • 87 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.33:1
  • Danish
  •  
  • Spine #134

Grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns, and a satanic Sabbath: Benjamin Christensen’s legendary film uses a series of dramatic vignettes to explore the scientific hypothesis that the witches of the Middle Ages suffered the same hysteria as turn-of-the-century psychiatric patients. But the film itself is far from serious—instead it’s a witches’ brew of the scary, gross, and darkly humorous. The Criterion Collection is proud to present two versions of this genre-defying “documentary,” for the first time ever on DVD.

Cast

The devilBenjamin Christensen
The scribe's wife, AnnaAstrid Holm
Anna's sisterKaren Winther
Maria the weaver, a witchMaren Pedersen
Apelone, a poor old womanWilhelmine Henriksen
Old maidKate Fabian
FriarOscar Stribolt
Sister Cecilia, a nunClara Pontoppidan
NunAlice O'Fredericks
Father Henrik, witch judgeJohannes Andersen
Johannes, witch judge Elith Pio
Witch judgeAage Hertel
Witch judgeIb Schønberg

Credits

Disc Features

  • Häxan (1922), a new digital, speed-corrected transfer of the Swedish Film Institute’s tinted restoration
  • Music from the original Danish premiere, arranged by film music specialist Gillian Anderson and performed by the Czech Film Orchestra, presented in Dolby Digital 5.0
  • Commentary by Danish silent film scholar Casper Tybjerg
  • Benjamin Christensen’s introduction to the 1941 rerelease
  • A short selection of outtakes
  • Bibliothèque Diabolique: a photographic exploration of Christensen’s historical sources
  • Stills gallery
  • New English translation of intertitles

  • Witchcraft Through the Ages (1968), the 76-minute version of Häxan, narrated by William S. Burroughs, with a soundtrack featuring Jean-Luc Ponty
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
  • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

    New cover by Eva Wah

Film Essays

Häxan

By Chris Fujiwara October 15, 2001

Born in Denmark in 1879, Benjamin Christensen had a varied career before he entered the Danish film industry as an actor and writer in 1912. The first two films he directed, The Mysterious X . . . Read more »


Film Essays

Häxan: About the Music

By Gillian Anderson October 15, 2001

Häxan had its world premiere in Stockholm, on September 18, 1922. The score that accompanied the film was compiled from preexisting compositions, the names of which have unfortunately been lost. . . . Read more »

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10 Directors On-screen

October 12, 2011


Film Essays

Häxan

By Chris Fujiwara October 15, 2001

Born in Denmark in 1879, Benjamin Christensen had a varied career before he entered the Danish film industry as an actor and writer in 1912. The first two films he directed, The Mysterious X . . . Read more »


Film Essays

Häxan: About the Music

By Gillian Anderson October 15, 2001

Häxan had its world premiere in Stockholm, on September 18, 1922. The score that accompanied the film was compiled from preexisting compositions, the names of which have unfortunately been lost. . . . Read more »