Pelle the Conqueror

Synopsis: The end of the 19th century. A boat filled with Swedish emigrants comes to the Danish island of Bornholm. Among them are Lasse and his son Pelle who move to Denmark to find work. They find employment at a large farm, but are treated as the lowest form of life. Pelle starts to speak Danish but is still harassed as a foreigner. But none of them wants to give up their dream of finding a better life than the life they left in Sweden.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Bille August
Production: HBO Video
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 7 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
157 min



- Dad.

- I'm sleeping. Let me sleep.

Tell me again, Dad.

This will be a very different country.

- One hardly--

- One hardly believes one's eyes.

No, because there are raisins in the roast pork,

and you'll get meat on your bread.

In some places you do.

The liquor costs no more than water,

but it's so strong that you'll get blind drunk.

But I can handle it,

because your dad is strong, Pelle.

- And children have the day off.

- Yes, Pelle, yes.

Tell me again, Dad.

The wages are so high in Denmark

that children don't...

Children don't have to work. They can play all day.

They won't fool me.

You shouldn't say yes to just anything.


This is my boy. I'm a widower. We're from Tomelilla.

My name is Lasse Karlsson

and I offer you my services.

He looks like he's nice to children.

Lasse Karlsson from Tomelilla.

I offer you my services.

Go back to Sweden, you old bastard.

Hello, my name is Jorgen Persson.

Lasse Karlsson from Tomelilla. I offer you my...

No, you shouldn't say yes to just anything.

Hello. I'm Lasse Karlsson from Tomelilla. I offer...

Lasse Karlsson from Tomelilla.

I offer you my services.

You're too old, and the kid is too young.

You shouldn't say yes to just anything.

You really shouldn't.

You're too late.

I suppose you're looking for work, aren't you?

Where are your parents?


Lasse Karlsson from Tomelilla. I offer...

Show me your papers.

I'll give you footing for 100 kroner

a year. That includes the boy.

Lord Almighty...

You'll stay in there.

If you need anything, you can ask me or the trainee.

Don't go up there. Come back here! Stupid animals!

I'll get into trouble with the foreman.

Off you go. Come on.

Just hit them on their teats.

Or their hind legs. Then they'll obey.

Go on, hit them.

I'll get you. Get back, I said.

Come on.

If you'll help with the animals and with my Danish,

then we can share my food.

Keep stones in your pocket.

If one of the cows runs away,

you can throw one at her.

And when it hits her, shout her name.

Then she'll come back for sure.

What's your name?



Get your tongue out.

Put your head between your legs.

If the sun is just above the trees,

then they'll need water.

You can also tell by the larks.

That's my mother. She can't say my name either.

Here's your food.

Cowman. Why is that cow standing here?

Why is Gabriella over here?

Why is Gabriella over here?

The girls can't find the cows

if you shift them around.

It says, Aspasia.

Then perhaps the trainee could show me her place.

Kongstrup is back.

There, there.

Erik. Why haven't you unhitched Kongstrup's horses?

Because I need to eat first.

Is that right?

They can't wait there just because you're eating.

Get out... you lazy dog.

What a bastard.

You're not allowed to steal the milk.

Don't you know that?

I ought to give you a whipping.

But I'll let you off this time.

Listen here, Pelle...

I've thought about it. You

and your dad would like to be rich, right?

I know where there's money. Real gold money.

But you have to keep it a secret.

Come on in, Pelle. But you have to be very quiet.

The raven can be dangerous if it hears us.

Come on.




Run, you dirty Swede. Get up and run.


You dirty swine! You want a taste of it?

Do you want a taste of it yourself?

That's enough.

Cut it out, or I'll report both of you

to the authorities.

Get out of here. Don't show yourself

here for a while, you bastard.

He will be pun/shed. Trust me on that'.

I'll give you my word of honor.

With my own hands I'll...

- Kill him.

- That damn bastard.

- Will you kill him?

- Trust me on that, Pelle.

- How?

- Well, how...

What will you use?

The hammer, I think.

Kill him like a dead dog.

No question about it.

But who will read the names of the cows then?

You're right about that. Well...

I guess we'll just have to whip him.

Then he can keep on reading for us.

But he'll definitely get a good whipping!

Yarn for the boy's gray socks.

And what about this patch?

Oh, yes. The Sunday jacket, Bengta said.

I... Yes, I needed to let down the sleeves on that.

Your mother was worried

that I couldn't take care of you, Pelle.

But you can count on me, Bengta.

Don't wear them too long,

she said, or you'll wear them out.


It's the trainee.

- Where the hell are you?

- Will you kill him now, Dad?

I'm coming.

Yes, I'd like to object against...

- As a father, I want to--

- Why don't you answer?

I apologize. I want to object against the way Pelle--

Are you deaf? Be careful

or I'll report you to the foreman.

Well, don't turn Aspasia to grass tomorrow.

- Is she going to calve?

- Would she foal, do you think?

If you can't read where Aspasia

should stay, you have to be polite.

Aspasia is the third from the door.

You promised, Dad.

Speak Swedish to your father.

You do know Swedish, don't you?

Are you so haughty that you don't want

to speak in your mother tongue?

Lasse is old and poor. What's left?

No respect. They can treat you how they please.

What good is making a fist,

when you have no strength left?

That's what being old is like.

You are young. You can conquer the world.

I almost forgot. Have you seen this, Pelle?

Look what I've got.

Look at this, Pelle.

I brought this with me from Sweden.

From Tomelilla.

Here we go.

If we're lucky, we'll have wood strawberries.

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Bille August

Bille August (born 9 November 1948) is a Danish Academy Award-winning film and television director. His 1987 film Pelle the Conqueror won the Palme d'Or, Academy Award and Golden Globe. He is one of only eight directors to win the Palme d'Or twice, winning the prestigious award again in 1992 for The Best Intentions, based on the autobiographical script by Ingmar Bergman. He was married to Swedish actress Pernilla August from 1991 to 1997. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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