Carl Th. Dreyer

Master of the House

Master of the House

Before he turned to the story of Joan of Arc, the Danish cinema genius Carl Theodor Dreyer fashioned this ahead-of-its-time examination of domestic life. A deft comedy of gentle revenge, it is the story of a housewife who, with the help of a wily nanny, turns the tables on her tyrannical husband. In it, Dreyer combines lightness and humor with his customary meticulous craft and sense of integrity. Master of the House, an enormous box-office success in its day, is a jewel of the silent cinema.

Film Info

  • Carl Th. Dreyer
  • Denmark
  • 1925
  • 107 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • Danish
  • Spine #706

Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration, with a reconstructed score by composer Gillian B. Anderson, performed by pianist Sara Davis Buechner and presented in uncompressed stereo on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with Carl Theodor Dreyer historian Casper Tybjerg
  • New visual essay on Dreyer’s innovations by film historian David Bordwell
  • New English intertitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Mark Le Fanu

New cover by Béatrice Coron

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration, with a reconstructed score by composer Gillian B. Anderson, performed by pianist Sara Davis Buechner and presented in uncompressed stereo on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with Carl Theodor Dreyer historian Casper Tybjerg
  • New visual essay on Dreyer’s innovations by film historian David Bordwell
  • New English intertitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Mark Le Fanu

New cover by Béatrice Coron

Master of the House
Cast
Johannes Meyer
Viktor Frandsen, a watchmaker
Astrid Holm
Ida, his wife
Karin Nellemose
Karen, their daughter
Clara Schønfeld
Alvilda Kryger, Ida’s mother
Mathilde Nielsen
Mads, Victor's former nanny
Johannes Nielsen
The doctor
Petrine Sonne
Mrs. Hansen, the washerwoman
Aage Hoffman
Frederik, the son
Credits
Director
Carl Th. Dreyer
Writers
Carl Th. Dreyer
Writers
Svend Rindom
Based on the play Tyrannens fald by
Svend Rindom
Cinematography
George Schnéevoigt
Art direction
Carl Th. Dreyer
Editing
Carl Th. Dreyer

From The Current

David Bordwell on Master of the House
David Bordwell on Master of the House

Film scholar extraordinaire David Bordwell is among our most meticulous writers on the art of cinema, looking closely at the construction of a film to see what makes it work and how its technical approach reflects its historical moment. We naturally …

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Master of the House: In the Corner
Master of the House: In the Corner

Carl Theodor Dreyer’s spare and modern visual style perfectly complements this comic and soulful domestic comeuppance story.

By Mark Le Fanu

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Explore

Carl Th. Dreyer

Writer, Director, Art Director, Editor

The creator of perhaps cinema’s most purely spiritual works, Danish master Carl Theodor Dreyer is one of the most influential moving image makers of all time, his arrestingly spare and innovative approach echoed in the films of Ingmar Bergman, Robert Bresson, Andrei Tarkovsky, Lars von Trier, and countless others. After making his mark with such narrative silent films as the provocative Michael (1924) and Master of the House (1925), Dreyer created The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), which, though deemed a failure on its release, is now considered, with its mix of stark realism and expressionism (and astonishing, iconic performance by Maria Falconetti), one of the great artistic works of the twentieth century. For the next four decades, Dreyer would continue to make films about people caught in battle between the spirit and the flesh and to experiment technically with the form. Vampyr (1932) is a mesmerizing horror fable full of camera and editing tricks; Day of Wrath (1943) is an intense tale of social repression, made during the Nazi occupation of Denmark; Ordet (1955) is a shattering look at a farming family’s inner religious world; and Gertrud (1964) is a portrait of a fiercely independent woman’s struggle for personal salvation.