The Stepmother

Viggo Larsen, 1908, 15 min
When his wife dies, knight Svend Dyring gets married to noble Mrs. Guldborg. Little does the good knight know that Mrs. Guldborg is in fact pure evil, and that she and her daughter Ragnhild torment the knight’s children when he’s not home. One day, when Svend Dyring is injured in a hunting accident, the eldest daughter Regitze takes upon herself to take care of her father. Mrs. Guldborg looks on in envy, while the relationship between the father and his daughter is strengthened. She’s secretly planning how to get the daughter off the scene.

'The Stepmother' is based on Henrik Hertz’s play 'Svend Dyring's House' and is one of the earliest Danish films we’ve preserved. It’s a good example of how, early in the history of film, people began to “borrow content” from other art forms such as plays and novels.

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