Jeppe Paa Bjerget (1981)

Run Time - 120 min.  |   Countries - Denmark  |  
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A 1723 satire written by Ludvig Holberg ("the Moliere of the north") was chosen as the story for this full-length feature film, meant to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Nordisk Film Kompagni, perhaps the world's oldest, continually-running film studio. Director Kaspar Rostrup has decided to emphasize the perceived weaknesses of the upper and lower classes in Denmark in his adaptation of the story. Jeppe of the Hill features (Buster Larson) as the tipsy peasant Jeppe and (Henning Jensen) as the Baron who plays a cruel practical joke on the unsuspecting simpleton. The comedy springs into action when the Baron encounters a dead-drunk Jeppe and has him brought to the castle in a stupor. When Jeppe comes around, he is led to believe that he is the Baron himself, now in a position to wreak a long-desired vengeance for indignities suffered at the hands of his former social superiors -- which he does with an increasing enthusiasm that sets off alarms in the Baron's mental security system. Before mayhem and worse is allowed to happen, Jeppe gets roaring drunk again, and the Baron is able to toss him back into his pre-Baronial lifestyle -- poor Jeppe loses his brief but heady moment of power. Although he is no longer top man on the hill, Jeppe has craftily observed some of the Baron's elite servants stealing the silver, so to speak. Armed with that information, Jeppe may have the last word yet. First-time director Kaspar Rostrup and the lead actor Buster Larson successfully brought Jeppe of the Hill to the stage 10 years before the release of this film.

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Keywords

aristocracy, injustice, peasant, power, prank, revenge