With his masterful Ordet (aka The Word, ), legendary Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer examines the conflict between internalized personal faith and organized religion. Dreyer sets the drama in a conservative, super-pious Danish town, where widower Morten Borgen (Henrik Malberg) -- the father of three boys -- cuts against the grain of the community with his constant heretical doubt. One of his sons, Mikkel Borgen (Emil Hass Christensen), is entangled in an interfaith romance with a fundamentalist's daughter, while the second, Anders Borgen (Cay Kristiansen), is an agnostic, and the third, Johannes Borgen (Preben Leerdorff-Rye) -- a devotee of Søren Kirkegaard -- believes that he actually is Jesus Christ -- a conviction ridiculed by almost everyone as pure insanity. Also known as The Word, Ordet was the only film that Dreyer made in the 1950s. The author of the play on which the film was based (and which was previously filmed in 1943) was Kaj Munk, a Danish pastor murdered by the Nazis for daring to announce his fidelity to Christ over Hitler.
by Hal Erickson synopsis