7.6/10
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The Simple-Minded Murderer (1982)

Den enfaldige mördaren (original title)
A mentally challenged man escapes from his tyrannical master and finds happiness when a poor family takes him in.

Director:

Hans Alfredson

Writer:

Hans Alfredson (screenplay)
Reviews
7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stellan Skarsgård ... Sven
Maria Johansson ... Anna
Hans Alfredson ... Höglund
Per Myrberg ... Andersson
Lena-Pia Bernhardsson Lena-Pia Bernhardsson ... Mrs. Andersson
Nils Ahlroth ... Månsson
Lars Amble ... Bengt
Carl-Åke Eriksson Carl-Åke Eriksson ... Wallin
Cecilia Walton Cecilia Walton ... Vera
Wallis Grahn Wallis Grahn ... Mrs. Höglund
Else-Marie Brandt Else-Marie Brandt ... Sven's Mother
Gösta Ekman ... The New Driver
Carl Billquist ... Flodin
Lena Nyman ... Woman Without Legs
Björn Andrésen ... Angel
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Storyline

In the 1930s, the feeble-minded Sven's mother dies and he is hired as a farm-hand at the rich, affluent Höglund's farm. He has to work without pay and sleeps together with the cows. He meets the disabled Anna who is the first one to treat him as an adult. One day he has had enough of Höglund's maltreatment and moves in with Anna's family. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Sweden

Language:

Scanian | Swedish

Release Date:

September 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Simple-Minded Murderer See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the sources of inspiration came when director Hans Alfredson first heard Verdi's "Requiem". He instantly knew that he wanted to use it for a movie. See more »

Goofs

This film is set in the 1930s, yet when Sven goes by a toy store during his breakdown, a plush toy of Snoopy can be spotted in the store's vitrine. Snoopy wasn't invented until 1950. See more »

Quotes

Höglund: [drunk] So old... why do you have to get so old... what are you doing here, idiot? What time is it?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Stjärnbilder (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Requiem
Written by Giuseppe Verdi (as Verdi)
Conducted by Georg Solti (as Sir Georg Solti)
Decca LP SET 374-5
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Powerful and admirable film by Hans Alfredson.
8 August 2012 | by EijnarAmadeusSee all my reviews

Den Enfaldige Mördaren deserves to be better known. It's a fabulous film directed by Hans Alfredson and stars Stellan Skarsgård in one of his most memorable performances as the hare-lipped young man Sven, who's considered retarded by his surroundings. He seeks consolation and spiritual strength in his faith and visions as his life becomes difficult and tormenting as a worker for the vicious local factory owner Höglund (played by Alfredson himself).

Superbly played out in a slight retrospective manner, the film beholds a major heart. The emotional aspect is big as we witness Sven throughout the film; his childlike manners and his close relation to his guardian angels, the way he gets involved with the girl-next-door, and getting the opportunity to step up and being treated as an adult, receiving weekly salary and learning how to drive a motorcycle. It's a moving journey of a man who everyone around him seems to misunderstand and neglect. These bright and uplifting moments in the film works as a great counterbalance to the darkness it beholds, especially in the character of Höglund - he's first presented to us lurking into the stable where Sven sleeps among the animals, and he speaks violently and shows no affect for Sven, who's just lost his mother. Höglund treats Sven's sister as meat, shows no affection for his wife and kids, and uses gruesome actions to behold power in the local county.

Den Enfaldige Mördaren is packed with symbolism and ideas, and it flows carelessly in place and time (we sense both the Middle Ages and something futuristic, and everything in between) and tells a tale a multi-layered tale, shuffling so many elements of humor, romance, spirituality, society's mangles, vengeance and adventure. It's a film that makes one enthusiastic about European cinema.


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