The Brothers Lionheart (1977 film)

Last updated

The Brothers Lionheart
Broderna Lejonhjarta.jpg
Swedish DVD cover
Directed by Olle Hellbom
Produced by Olle Nordemar
Olle Hellbom
Written by Astrid Lindgren
Starring Staffan Götestam
Lars Söderdahl
Allan Edwall
Gunn Wållgren
Folke Hjort
Per Oscarsson
Music by Björn Isfält
Lasse Dahlberg
Distributed by Svensk Filmindustri
Release date
  • 23 September 1977 (1977-09-23)(Sweden)
Running time
102 minutes
CountrySweden
LanguageSwedish

The Brothers Lionheart (Swedish : Bröderna Lejonhjärta) is a Swedish fantasy film which was released to cinemas in Sweden on 23 September 1977, [1] directed by Olle Hellbom and based on the 1973 book of the same name, written by Astrid Lindgren. It won Sweden's Guldbagge Award for Best Director in 1978. [2]

Contents

Selected cast

Production

The film was shot in Sweden, Denmark and Iceland. Filming locations included Stockholm for studio interiors and the openings sequence, while Skåne County in Sweden and Århus in Jutland represented Nangijala, while Þingvellir and Dimmuborgir in Iceland represented the lands of Tengil. [3]

Upon release, unique for adaptions of Lindgren’s work, it was given a 11 certificate by the Swedish board of censors, causing the Riksdag to enact an age limit of 7 and above for future films. The film nevertheless maintained the age limit of 11 and above for years until a 7 limit, called “Lex Lejonhjärta”, was deemed acceptable.

The source work is widely considered, although the violent content is much toned down on screen, the most political and violent of Lindgren’s books, involving themes of dictatorship, occupation, treason, democide, war, suicide and forced labour of nigh-Holocaustian reminiscence. Most of the named characters do not survive the film (although its setting in concurrent realities soften this fact). In a cruel quirk of fate, actor Folke Hjort drowned in a diving accident less than three months before its release, a fate shared with his character in the film and book.

Nevertheless, it has maintained its place as one of the most beloved and iconic adaptions, and films overall, although several technical aspects, such as the Katla model, are considered well out of date, and several lines from the film are widely culturally understood and in widespread use, such as “All power to Tengil, our liberator!” (in original Swedish: All makt åt Tengil, vår befriare!), a truism (used ironically out of context) pronounced to proclaim loyalty and submission to the autocratic occupational power of Lord Tengil of Karmanjaka.

Reception

Box office

In Sweden, the film grossed SEK 8,963,000 at the box office. [4] Its screenings were attended by 553,000 people. [4]

Differences from the novel

Although the film mostly stays true to the book some notable differences can be seen.

Critical response

The film was well received by Swedish critics. [5] Often interpreting the film in contemporary terms, they compared Staffan Götestam's portrayal of Jonatan to Che Guevara, [5] and Georg Årlin's portrayal of Tengil to Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Augusto Pinochet, Richard Nixon and Saddam Hussein. [5]

Accolades

Related Research Articles

Astrid Lindgren Swedish writer of fiction and screenplays

Astrid Anna Emilia Lindgren was a Swedish writer of fiction and screenplays. She is best known for several children's book series, featuring Pippi Longstocking, Emil i Lönneberga, Karlsson-on-the-Roof, and the Six Bullerby Children, and for the children's fantasy novels Mio, My Son, Ronia the Robber's Daughter, and The Brothers Lionheart. Lindgren worked on the Children's Literature Editorial Board at the Rabén & Sjögren publishing house in Stockholm and wrote more than 30 books for children. In January 2017, she was calculated to be the world's 18th most translated author, and the fourth most translated children's writer after Enid Blyton, Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm. Lindgren has so far sold roughly 165 million books worldwide. In 1994, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award for "her unique authorship dedicated to the rights of children and respect for their individuality."

Pippi Longstocking Fictional character

Pippi Longstocking is the fictional main character in an eponymous series of children's books by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. Pippi was named by Lindgren's daughter Karin, who asked her mother for a get-well story when she was off school.

<i>The Man on the Roof</i> 1976 film

The Man on the Roof is a 1976 Swedish police procedural-thriller film directed by Bo Widerberg. It is based on the 1971 novel The Abominable Man by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. The film stars Carl-Gustaf Lindstedt, Sven Wollter, Thomas Hellberg and Håkan Serner.

<i>The Brothers Lionheart</i>

The Brothers Lionheart is a children's fantasy novel written by Astrid Lindgren. Well established as one of the most widely read and beloved books for children in Sweden, it was originally published in the autumn of 1973 and has since been translated into 46 languages. Like several of Lindgren's works, the book has a melancholy tone, and many of its themes are unusually dark for the children's book genre. Disease, death, tyranny, betrayal, and rebellion form the backdrop of the story, against which are contrasted platonic love, loyalty, sacrifice, hope, courage, and pacifism.

Per-Axel Daniel Rank Arosenius was a Swedish film and television actor of mostly supporting parts. His most prominent film role was that of Soviet defector Boris Kusenov in the thriller film Topaz (1969), directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Katla is a fictional dragon from the Swedish children's book The Brothers Lionheart, written by Astrid Lindgren. The name Katla is an old Norse female name and means either "the kettle" or "the boiler". It is also the name of a volcano in Iceland.

Allan Edwall Swedish actor

Johan Allan Edwall was a Swedish actor, director, author, composer and singer, best-known outside Sweden for the small roles he played in some of Ingmar Bergman's films, such as Fanny and Alexander (1982). He found his largest audience in the Scandinavian countries for playing lovable characters in several of the film and TV adaptations of the children's stories by Astrid Lindgren. He attended Stockholm's Royal Dramatic Theatre School from 1949–1952. During his long career he appeared in over 400 works. At the 10th Guldbagge Awards in 1974, he won the award for Best Actor for his role in Emil and the Piglet.

Nils Olof "Olle" Hellbom was a Swedish film director, producer, and screenwriter. He is most famous for directing films based on novels by Astrid Lindgren. His 1960 film Alla vi barn i Bullerbyn was entered into the 2nd Moscow International Film Festival. In 1978 at the 14th Guldbagge Awards he won the award for Best Director for his film The Brothers Lionheart.

Georg Årlin Swedish actor

Georg Adolf Wilhelm Årlin was a Swedish film actor who appeared in 50 films between 1940 and 1988. Born in Rödeby, a southern Sweden locality in Blekinge County's Karlskrona Municipality, Georg Årlin died in Lövestad at the age of 75.

Tomas Alfredson Swedish film director

Hans Christian Tomas Alfredson is a Swedish film director who is best known internationally for directing the 2008 vampire film Let the Right One In and 2011 espionage film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Alfredson has received the Guldbagge award for Best Direction twice; in 2005 for Four Shades of Brown, and in 2008 for Let the Right One In.

Per Oscarsson Swedish actor

Per Oscar Heinrich Oscarsson was a Swedish actor. He is best known for his role in the 1966 film Hunger, which earned him a Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor.

Junibacken

Junibacken is a children’s attraction, founded by Staffan Götestam, Fredrik Uhrström and Peder Wallenberg. It is situated on the island of Djurgården in the centre of Stockholm, Sweden.

<i>Pippi Longstocking</i> (novel)

Pippi Longstocking is a Swedish children's novel by writer Astrid Lindgren, published by Rabén & Sjögren with illustrations by Ingrid Vang Nyman in 1945. Translations have been published in more than 40 languages, commonly with new illustrations.

Världens bästa Karlsson is a Swedish family film which was released to cinemas in Sweden on 2 December 1974, directed by Olle Hellbom. It is based on a book about Karlsson-on-the-Roof by Astrid Lindgren.

Bill Bergson Lives Dangerously is a 1957 Swedish film about Kalle Blomkvist, directed by Olle Hellbom. It is based on the novel with the same name, written by Astrid Lindgren. It was recorded in Trosa, Södermanland.

<i>Du är inte klok, Madicken</i>

Du är inte klok, Madicken is a 1979 Swedish film about the Astrid Lindgren character Madicken, directed by Göran Graffman.

Staffan Götestam

Per Staffan Götestam is a Swedish actor, director, theatre chief, playwright and founder of Junibacken. He is best known as Jonatan in The Brothers Lionheart. He is brother to Birgitta Götestam. Götestam started playing amateur theatre with Örebro Student Theatre. He was educated at Skara skolscen and Statens scenskola, Stockholm. He played a role in the musical Godspell in 1974.

Folke Karl-Gustav Hjort, born 28 March 1934 in Stockholm, died 3 July 1977 in Lysekil, was a Swedish actor. A prolific theatre actor of his time, he is now most recognised for his role as Jossi in Olle Hellbom’s adaption of Bröderna Lejonhjärta.

The 14th Guldbagge Awards ceremony, presented by the Swedish Film Institute, honored the best Swedish films of 1977 and 1978, and took place on 18 September 1978. The Adventures of Picasso directed by Tage Danielsson was presented with the award for Best Film.

Olle Nordemar

Olof Harry "Olle" Nordemar was a Swedish film director, film editor, film producer, cinematographer and screenwriter. Nordemar is best known as the producer behind Olle Hellbom's films based on novels by Astrid Lindgren. Nordemar edited and produced the Norwegian-Swedish documentary Kon-Tiki (1950) which received the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for 1951 at the 24th Academy Awards.

References

  1. "Bröderna Lejonhjärta". Swedish Film Database. 23 September 1977. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Awards for Bröderna Lejonhjärta (1977)" . Retrieved 7 July 2008.
  3. "Filming locations for Bröderna Lejonhjärta (1977)" . Retrieved 8 July 2008.
  4. 1 2 "Box office / business for Bröderna Lejonhjärta (1977)" . Retrieved 7 July 2008.
  5. 1 2 3 Holmlund, Christine (2003). "Pippi and Her Pals". Cinema Journal . 42.2 (Winter 2003): 14.