Erik Balling

Last updated

Erik Balling
Erik Balling.jpg
Born(1924-11-29)29 November 1924
Died19 November 2005(2005-11-19) (aged 80)
Burial placeGentofte Churchyard, Gentofte Municipality, Denmark
Occupation Film director
Years active1952 – 1984

Erik Balling (29 November 1924 – 19 November 2005) was a Danish TV and film director. He created two of Denmark's most popular TV-series, Matador and Huset på Christianshavn .


His feature film Qivitoq (1956) was nominated for a Golden Palm at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival, [1] and for an Oscar as Best Foreign Language Film. [2] His 1962 film Den kære familie was entered into the 3rd Moscow International Film Festival. [3]

Together with Henning Bahs, he also created the hugely popular series of Olsen Gang feature films.


Balling started working for the largest and oldest Danish film production company, Nordisk Films Kompagni, in 1946. He later became the boss of the company.

His made his directing debut with Adam & Eva (1953), which was nominated for a Bodil-award as Best Film.

In 1956 he directed Kispus , which was the first Danish movie filmed in color.

The most popular films directed by Balling were the feature film comedies about a trio of small-time crooks, the Olsen Gang. There were 13 episodes of this movie series between 1968 and 1981, starting with Olsen-banden. They were remade in several languages.

In 1998, Erik Balling received an Honorary Robert Award.


The Olsen Gang's Last Trick 1998ScriptFeature
Mer' Matador 1998HimselfTV documentary
Bryggeren 1996StoryTV series
Murder in Paradise  [ da ]1988ScriptFeature
Murder in the dark  [ da ]1986ScriptFeature
In the Middle of the Night 1984DirectionFeature
Anthonsen  [ da; de ]1984DirectionTV series
Kurt and Valde 1983ScreenplayFeature
The Olsen Gang Long Gone 1981DirectionFeature
The Olsen Gang's Escape over the Fence 1981DirectionFeature
The Olsen Gang Never Surrenders  [ da; de; no; pl; sv ]1979DirectionFeature
The Olsen Gang Goes to War  [ da; de; no; pl; sv ]1978DirectionFeature
Matador 1978DirectionTV series
Bandefører Balling 1978AppearanceTV documentary
The Olsen Gang Outta Sight  [ da; de; no; pl; sv ]1977DirectionFeature
The Moelleby Affair 1976ScriptFeature
It all adds up 1976ScriptFeature
The Olsen Gang Sees Red 1976DirectionFeature
Superfos Glasuld – et isoleret tilfælde  [ da ]1976DirectionCommercial
The Olsen Gang on the Track 1975DirectionFeature
The Last Exploits of the Olsen Gang 1974DirectionFeature
The Olsen Gang Goes Crazy 1973DirectionFeature
The Olsen Gang's Big Score 1972DirectionFeature
Our Home is Our Castle 1971DirectionFeature
One of those things  [ da ]1971DirectionFeature
The Olsen Gang in Jutland 1971DirectionFeature
Viva the revolution! 1970DirectionFeature
Huset på Christianshavn 1970DirectionTV series
The Olsen Gang in a Fix 1969DirectionFeature
One Saturday Evening  [ da ]1968DirectionFeature
The Olsen Gang 1968DirectionFeature
I Belong to Me 1967DirectionFeature
Relax Freddie 1966DirectionFeature
Strike first Freddy 1965DirectionFeature
Halløj i himmelsengen  [ de ]1965DirectionFeature
Landmandsliv 1965DirectionFeature
Death Comes at High Noon 1964DirectionFeature
Sommer i Tyrol 1964DirectionFeature
Hvis lille pige er du? 1963DirectionFeature
Den kære familie 1962DirectionFeature
79 of Station 1962DirectionFeature
Cirkus Buster 1961DirectionFeature
Poeten og Lillemor i forårshumør 1961DirectionFeature
Forelsket i København 1960ProducerFeature
Poeten og Lillemor og Lotte 1960DirectionFeature
Tro, håb og trolddom 1960DirectionFeature
Poeten og Lillemor 1959DirectionFeature
Helle for Helene 1959ProducerFeature
The six-day bicycle race 1958ScriptFeature
The Girls Are Willing 1958Production managerFeature
A woman not wanted 1957ProducerFeature
Jeg elsker dig 1957ProducerFeature
Kispus 1956DirectionFeature
Qivitoq 1956DirectionFeature
På tro og love 1955ScriptFeature
Kongeligt besøg  [ da ]1954DirectionFeature
Adam and Eve 1953DirectionFeature
We Who Go the Kitchen Route 1953DirectionFeature
Vi arme syndere 1952DirectionFeature
Mød mig på Cassiopeia 1951Production managerFeature
Cinderella 1950Director: Danish versionFeature
For frihed og ret  [ da ]1949Assistant directorFeature
Israel 1949DirectionDocumentary
Ditte, daughter of man 1946Production assistantFeature
Diskret Ophold  [ da ]1946Assistant directorFeature


Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Liv Ullmann</span> Norwegian actress and film director

Liv Johanne Ullmann is a Norwegian actress and film director. Recognised as one of the greatest European actresses of all time, Ullmann is known as the muse and frequent partner of filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. She acted in many of his films, including Persona (1966), Cries and Whispers (1972), Scenes from a Marriage (1973), The Passion of Anna (1969), and Autumn Sonata (1978).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thomas Vinterberg</span> Danish film director

Thomas Vinterberg is a Danish film director who, along with Lars von Trier, co-founded the Dogme 95 movement in filmmaking, which established rules for simplifying movie production. He is best known for the films The Celebration (1998), Submarino (2010), The Hunt (2012), Far from the Madding Crowd (2015), and Another Round (2020). For Another Round, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director and won the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film, the former became the first Danish filmmaker nominated for Best Director.

<i>Pelle the Conqueror</i> 1987 film directed by Bille August

Pelle the Conqueror is a 1987 epic film co-written and directed by Bille August, based upon the 1910 novel of the same name by Danish writer Martin Andersen Nexø. The film tells the story of two Swedish immigrants to Denmark, a father and son, who try to build a new life for themselves. It stars Pelle Hvenegaard as the young Pelle, with Max von Sydow as his father, and also features Axel Strøbye and Astrid Villaume.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joanne Woodward</span> American actress (born 1930)

Joanne Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward is an American actress. A star since the Golden Age of Hollywood, Woodward made her career breakthrough in the 1950s and earned esteem and respect playing complex women with a characteristic nuance and depth of character. She is one of the first film stars to have an equal presence in television. Her accolades include an Academy Award, three Primetime Emmy Awards, a British Academy Film Award, three Golden Globe Awards, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Louis Malle</span> French film director, screenwriter, and producer

Louis Marie Malle was a French film director, screenwriter, and producer. His film Le Monde du silence won the Palme d'Or in 1956 and the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1957, although he was not credited at the ceremony; the award was instead presented to the film's co-director Jacques Cousteau. Later in his career he was nominated multiple times for Academy Awards. Malle is also one of only four directors to have won the Golden Lion twice.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Martin Ritt</span> American film director

Martin Ritt was an American director and actor who worked in both film and theater, noted for his socially conscious films.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Michael Cacoyannis</span> Greek film and stage director

Michael Cacoyannis, sometimes credited as Michael Yannis, was a Greek Cypriot theatre and film director, writer, producer, and actor.

Axel Gabriel Erik Mørch better known as Gabriel Axel was a Danish film director, actor, writer and producer, best known for Babette's Feast (1987), which he wrote and directed.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cinema of Denmark</span> Filmmaking industry in Denmark

Denmark has been producing films since 1897 and since the 1980s has maintained a steady stream of product due largely to funding by the state-supported Danish Film Institute. Historically, Danish films have been noted for their realism, religious and moral themes, sexual frankness and technical innovation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Albert Lamorisse</span> French filmmaker and writer

Albert Lamorisse was a French filmmaker, film producer, and writer of award-winning short films which he began making in the late 1940s. He also invented the strategic board game Risk in 1957.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nicolas Winding Refn</span> Danish filmmaker

Nicolas Winding Refn also known as Jang, is a Danish film director, screenwriter, and producer. He is known for his collaborations with Mads Mikkelsen, Tom Hardy and Ryan Gosling.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pietro Germi</span> Italian screenwriter, director, actor

Pietro Germi was an Italian film director, screenwriter, and actor, noted for his development of the neorealist and commedia all'Italiana genres.

<i>Qivitoq - Fjeldgængeren</i> 1956 film

Qivitoq - Fjeldgængeren is a 1956 Danish drama film directed by Erik Balling and starring Poul Reichhardt and Astrid Villaume. The movie was filmed entirely on location in Greenland. It was nominated both for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and for the Palme D'Or at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1957 Cannes Film Festival</span>

The 10th Cannes Film Festival was held from 2 to 17 May 1957.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ruben Östlund</span> Swedish film director and screenwriter

Ruben Östlund is a Swedish filmmaker. His film Force Majeure (2014) was critically acclaimed. His later films The Square (2017) and Triangle of Sadness (2022) also received positive reviews and won awards at the Cannes Film Festival, including the Palme d'Or for each.

Raffaele Andreassi was an Italian film director most known for his movie Flashback from 1969. The movie is about a soldier in World War II and received many awards. It was entered into the 1969 Cannes Film Festival and nominated for the Golden Palm. Andreassi also did many documentaries during his director career.

Sisse Graum Jørgensen is a Danish film producer and sits on the board of the film company Zentropa. Films she has produced include Hævnen, Jagten, and Dear Wendy. She also sits on the advisory board for TrustNordisk, a Scandinavian international film distributor.

<i>The Olsen Gang in Jutland</i> 1971 Danish film

The Olsen Gang in Jutland is a 1971 Danish comedy film directed by Erik Balling and starring Ove Sprogøe. The film was the third installment in the Olsen Gang-series.

Poul Pedersen was an American cinematographer who co-founded the Danish Cinematographers Guild in 1954. Pedersen worked on 18 Danish feature films for the Nordisk Film studio from 1944 to 1962. His films included Kispus (1956), the first Danish feature movie to be filmed in color, and Qivitoq (1956) which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and the Palme D'Or.


  1. "Festival de Cannes: Qivitoq". Retrieved 8 February 2009.
  2. "The 29th Academy Awards (1957) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  3. "3rd Moscow International Film Festival (1963)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2012.