Joe Hill (film)

Last updated
Joe Hill
Joe hill poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Bo Widerberg
Written byBo Widerberg
Produced by
Starring Thommy Berggren
CinematographyJörgen Persson
Edited byBo Widerberg
Music by Stefan Grossman
  • Bo Widerberg Film
  • Sagittarius Productions
Distributed by
Release date
  • August 25, 1971 (1971-08-25)(Sweden)
  • October 24, 1971 (1971-10-24)(United States)
Running time
117 minutes
  • Sweden
  • United States

Joe Hill is a 1971 biopic about the Swedish-American labor activist and songwriter Joe Hill, born Joel Emanuel Hägglund in Gävle, Sweden. It was directed by Swedish director Bo Widerberg and is a dramatization of Hill's life, depicting Hill's arrival as a poor immigrant in New York in 1902, his involvement with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and his trial for murder, during which he defended himself.


The film stars Thommy Berggren as Joe Hill, while the rest of the cast were mostly unknowns in their first film roles. It is the only film that Widerberg made in the US.

The film won the Jury Prize at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival. [1]

Joe Hill was mostly unavailable commercially for nearly four decades (though occasionally shown at special film club screenings in Sweden) until a restored and digitally remastered version was produced in 2015 by the National Library of Sweden. It is now available on DVD. The distributor is Studio S Entertainment, Stockholm.


Related Research Articles

Bo Widerberg Swedish film director, screenwriter and film editor

Bo Gunnar Widerberg was a Swedish film director, writer, editor and actor.

<i>Ådalen 31</i> 1969 film

Ådalen 31 is a 1969 Swedish drama film directed by Bo Widerberg. It depicts the 1931 Ådalen shootings, in which Swedish military forces opened fire against labour demonstrators in the Swedish sawmill district of Ådalen killing five people, including a young girl.

<i>Sundays Children</i> 1992 film

Sunday's Children is a 1992 Swedish drama film directed by Daniel Bergman and written by Ingmar Bergman. At the 28th Guldbagge Awards the film won the award for Best Cinematography and Thommy Berggren was nominated for Best Actor.

Thommy Berggren Swedish actor

Thommy Berggren, né Tommy William Berggren is a Swedish actor. He is known for having starred in several films directed by Bo Widerberg, and was often considered as one of the foremost Swedish film and theatre actors from the early 1960s to the mid-2000s when he retired.

<i>Ravens End</i> 1963 Swedish film

Raven's End is a 1963 Swedish drama film directed by Bo Widerberg, about an aspiring working-class writer in Malmö. The story bears some similarities to Widerberg's own background, although he claimed it to be entirely fictional.

1971 Cannes Film Festival

The 24th Cannes Film Festival was held from 12 to 27 May 1971. The Palme d'Or went to The Go-Between by Joseph Losey.

1963 Cannes Film Festival

The 16th Cannes Film Festival was held from 9 to 23 May 1963. The Palme d'Or went to the Il Gattopardo by Luchino Visconti. The festival opened with The Birds, directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

1966 Cannes Film Festival

The 19th Cannes Film Festival was held from 5 to 20 May 1966. To honour the festival's 20th anniversary, a special prize was given.

<i>Elvira Madigan</i> (1967 film) 1967 Swedish film

Elvira Madigan is a 1967 Swedish film directed by Bo Widerberg, based on the tragedy of the Danish tightrope dancer Hedvig Jensen, working under the stage name of Elvira Madigan at her stepfather's travelling circus, who runs away with the Swedish nobleman lieutenant Sixten Sparre.

Victoria is a 1979 Swedish drama film directed by Bo Widerberg based on Knut Hamsun's 1898 novel. It was entered into the 1979 Cannes Film Festival.

Christopher's House is a 1979 Swedish drama film directed by Lars Lennart Forsberg. It competed in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.

<i>The Serpents Way</i> 1986 film

The Serpent's Way is a 1986 Swedish drama film directed by Bo Widerberg. It is based on the novel The Way of a Serpent by Torgny Lindgren. The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival and in competition at the 15th Moscow International Film Festival. At the 22nd Guldbagge Awards Stina Ekblad won the award for Best Actress.

Pia Degermark Swedish actress

Pia Charlotte Degermark is a Swedish actress. She is best known for her role as Elvira Madigan in the 1967 drama film Elvira Madigan, for which she won a Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress.

Love 65 is a 1965 Swedish drama film directed by Bo Widerberg. It was entered into the 15th Berlin International Film Festival. Bill Evans' "Peace Piece" featured in the soundtrack.

Berggren is a Swedish surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Heja Roland! is a 1966 Swedish comedy film directed by Bo Widerberg. The film won the Guldbagge Award for Best Film and Thommy Berggren won the award for Best Actor at the 3rd Guldbagge Awards.

John McDermott (artist) American illustrator and writer

John McDermott, also known under the pen names J.M. Ryan and Mariner, was an American illustrator and author noted for action and adventure illustrations. McDermott worked as an in-between and effects animator for Walt Disney Studios and as a US Marine combat artist, before establishing himself as a cover illustrator for 1950s paperbacks and pulp magazines such as Argosy, American Weekly, and Outdoor Life. Under his J.M. Ryan pen name, he wrote the novels The Rat Factory (1971), a derogatory satire of Walt Disney and the Disney studio; Brooks Wilson Ltd (1967), on which the 1970 film Loving was based; and "Mother's Day" (1969) about Ma Barker. Under his own name, he novelized director-writer Bo Widerberg's screenplay for the 1971 film Joe Hill, which would be his final published book.

<i>A Sunday in September</i> 1963 Swedish film

A Sunday in September is a 1963 Swedish drama film directed by Jörn Donner. It is the first feature-length film directed by Donner.

The 3rd Guldbagge Awards ceremony, presented by the Swedish Film Institute, honored the best Swedish 1965 and 1966, and took place on 17 October 1966. Heja Roland! directed by Bo Widerberg was presented with the award for Best Film.

A Hill on the Dark Side of the Moon is a 1983 Swedish drama film about the life of the Russian mathematician Sofia Kovalevskaya, written by Agneta Pleijel and directed by Lennart Hjulström. Gunilla Nyroos won the award for Best Actress at the 20th Guldbagge Awards.


  1. "Festival de Cannes: Joe Hill". Retrieved 2009-04-12.