Shall not Judge

Fritz Magnussen, 1920, 43 min
Marcus Bloomer, a district attorney, receives a divine revelation the night before he is to sentence a young man to death. The herald of the revelation takes the form of Bloomer’s former sweetheart Reine, who shows him the greatest mistake of his life: twenty years ago, Bloomer chose his career over Reine, who birthed a fatherless child. In a cruel twist of fate, the child that Bloomer abandoned turns out to be the very same young man he must now sentence to death.

The film has Dutch intertitles with Danish subtitles. Note that the film contains stereotypes that, while widespread in the silent film period, strikes us as offensive today.

Olaf Fønss plays a double role in the film, portraying the attorney Marcus Bloomer as well as his son, Geert Jerome. Fønss’s career really took off with a leading role in the film ‘Atlantis’ (1913), securing him a huge fan base of young women. He received thousands of fan letters, often containing marriage proposals, and even an offer from a noblewoman in Austria who wanted to conceive a child with the ‘hero of the Atlantis’.

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