Skip to main content

Holger-Madsen

HOLGER-MADSEN



Nationality: Danish. Born: Holger Madsen, 11 April 1878, began spelling name with hyphen, 1911. Career: Actor in Danish provinces, 1896–1904, and in Copenhagen, from 1904; actor in films, from 1907; directed first film, 1912; director for Nordisk Films Kompagni, 1913–20; worked in Germany, from 1920; returned to Denmark, 1930; manager of small Copenhagen cinema, 1938–43. Died: 30 November 1943.

Films as Director:

1912

Kun en Tigger (+ role)

1913

Under Savklingens Taender (The Usurer's Son) (+ role); Under Mindernes Trae (Dengamle Baenk, Left Alone); Skaebnens Veje (Under Kaerlighedens Aag; In the Bonds ofPassion); Det mrke¡ Punkt (Staalkongens Vilje; The SteelKing's Last Wish); Mens Pesten raser (Laegens Hustru; During the Plague); Ballettens Datter (Danserinden; UnjustlyAccused); Elskovsleg (Love's Devotee); PrinsesseElena (The Princess's Dilemma); Den hvide Dame (TheWhite Ghost); Fra Fyrste til Knejpevaert (The Gambler'sWife); Millionaerdrengen (The Adventures of a Millionaire's Son); Guldet og vort Hjerte (Et vanskeligt Valg; TheHeart's Voice)

1914

Tempeldanserindens Elskov (Bajaderens Haevn; TheBayadere's Revenge); Brnevennerne¡ (A Marriage of Convenience); En Opstandelse (Genopstandelsen; A Resurrection); Husassistenten (Naar Fruen skifter Pige; TheNew Cook); Svngaengersken¡ (The Somnambulist); Opiumsdrmmen¡ (The Opium Smoker's Dream); Denmystiske Fremmede (A Deal with the Devil); Endelig Alene (Alone at Last); Min Ven Levy (My Friend Levy); Ned medVaabnene (Lay Down Your Arms); Trold kan taemmes (TheTaming of the Shrew); De Forviste (Uden Faedreland; Without a Country); Et Huskors (Lysten styret; Enough ofIt); Barnets Magt (The Child); Et Haremseventyr (AnAdventure in a Harem); Evangeliemandens Liv (The Candle and the Moth); Kaerlighedens Triumf (Testamentet; TheRomance of a Will); Krig og Kaerlighed (Love and War); Spiritisten (A Voice from the Past): Det stjaalne Ansigt (TheMissing Admiralty Plans); En Aeresoprejsning (Misunderstood); Liykken draeber

1915

Cigaretpigen (The Cigarette Maker); Hvem er Gentlemantyven (Strakoff the Adventurer); En Ildprve¡ (A Terrible Ordeal); Danserindens Haevn (Circus Arrives; The Dancer'sRevenge); Danserindens Kaerlighedsdrm¡ (Den Ddsdmte¡¡; A Dancer's Strange Dream; The Condemned); Den frelsendeFilm (The Woman Tempted Me); Grevinde Hjertels¡ (TheBeggar Princess); Guldets Gift (The Tempting of Mrs.Chestney); Den hvide Djaevel (Caught in the Toils; TheDevil's Protege); Hvo som elsker sin Fader or Faklen (WhoSo Loveth His Father's Honor); I Livets Braending (TheCrossroads of Life); Manden uden Fremtid (The Manwithout a Future); Den omstridte Jord (Jordens Haevn; TheEarth's Revenge); Sjaeletyven (The Unwilling Sinner; HisInnocent Dupe); Det unge Blod (The Buried Secret); KrigensFjende (Acostates frste¡ Offer; The Munition Conspiracy); En Kunstners Gennembrud (Den Ddes¡ Sjael; The Soul ofthe Violin)

1916

For sin Faders Skyld (The Veiled Lady; False Evidence); Maaneprinsessen (Kamaeleonen; The Mysterious Lady; The May-Fly); Brnenes¡ Synd (The Sins of the Children); Fange no. 113 (Convict No. 113); Hans rigtige Kone (Which Is Which); Hendes Moders Lfte¡ (Ddens¡ Kontrakt; A Super Shylock); Hittebarnet (The Foundling of Fate): Hvor Sorgerne glemmes (Sster¡ Cecilies Offer; SisterCecilia); Livets Gglespil¡ (An Impossible Marriage); Mandenuden Smil; Nattens Mysterium (Who Killed Barno O'Neal); Nattevandreren (Edison Maes Dagbog; Out of the Underworld); Pax Aeterna; Lydia (The Music Hall Star); Lykken (The Road to Happiness; Guiding Conscience); PraestensDatter; Testamentets Hemmelighed (Den Ddes¡ Rst¡; TheVoice of the Dead; Nancy Keith); Den Aerelse¡ (TheInfamous; The Prison Taint); Smil (Far's Sorg; FatherSorrow; The Beggar Man of Paris)

1917

Himmelskibet (A Trip to Mars); Retten sejrer (Justice Victorious); Hendes Helt (Vogt dig for dine Venner)

1918

Folkets Ven (A Friend of the People); Mod Lyset (Toward theLight); Manden, der sejrede (The Man Who Tamed theVictors; Fighting Instinct)

1919

Gudernes Yndling (Digterkongen; Trials of Celebrity; ThePenalty of Fame); Har jeg Ret til at tage mit eget Liv (Flugten fra Livet; The Flight from Life; Beyond the Barricade); Det Strste¡ i Verden (Janes gode Ven; The Greatestin the World; The Love That Lives)

1921

Am Webstuhl der Zeit; Tobias Buntschuh (+ role); Den dvendeStad (Die sterbende Stadt)

1922

Pömperly's Kampf mit dem Schneeschuh (co-d)

1923

Das Evangelium; Zaida, die Tragödie eines Modells

1924

Der Mann um Mitternacht

1925

Ein Lebenskünstler

1926

Die seltsame Nacht; Die Sporck'schen Jäger; Spitzen

1927

Die heilige Lüge

1928

Freiwild; Die seltsame Nacht der Helga Wansen; Was ist losmit Nanette

1934

Kbenhavn¡, Kalundborg og—? (co-d)

1936

Sol over Danmark



Films as Actor:

1907

Den sorte HertugMagdalene; En grov Spg¡ (A Practical Joke and a SadEnd); Verdens Herkules (Hercules the Athlete); Karneval (The Bank Director, Carnival); Svend Dyrings Hus (TheStepmother); De smaa Landstrygere (Sold to Thieves); Smaeklaasen (The Spring Lock); Natten fr¡ KristiansFdelsdag¡ (The Night before Christian's Birthday); Rulleskjterne¡ (On Roller Skates); Sherlock Holmes I; Sherlock Holmes III

1909

Den graa Dame (The Gray Dame)

1911

Det store Fald or Malstrmmen¡; Ddssejleren¡ orDynamitattentatet paa Fyrtaarnet; Den svarte doktorn

1912

Paa Livets Skyggeside

1913

Elskovs Mast

1931

Praesten i Vejlby; Krudt med Knald

1933

Fem raske Piger; Med tuld Musik

1934

Lynet; 7–9-13

1935

Kidnapped


* * *

The two leading directors at Nordisk Films Kompagni in the Golden Age of the Danish cinema from 1910 to 1914 were August Blom and Holger-Madsen. They were similar in many respects. They both started as actors, but unlike Blom, Holger-Madsen began as a director with companies other than Nordisk. When he came to Nordisk he worked in almost all of the genres of the period—sensational films, comedies, farces, dramas, and tragedies. Gradually, though, Holger-Madsen developed his own personality, both in content and style.

Holger-Madsen specialized in films with spiritual topics. His main film in this genre was Evangeliemandens Liv, in which Valdemar Psilander plays the leading part of a dissolute young man of good family who suddenly realizes how empty and pointless his life is. He becomes a Christian and starts working as a preacher among the poor and the social outcasts of the big city. He succeeds in rescuing a young man from the path of sin. Several of the clichés of the period are featured in this tale, but the characterization of the hero is largely free of sentimentality, and Holger-Madsen coached Psilander into playing the role with a mature calm, and genuine strength of feeling. Formally the film is exquisite. The sets, the camerawork, and the lighting are executed with great care, and the film is rich in striking pictorial compositions, which was the director's forte.

Holger-Madsen had a predilection for extraordinary, often bizarre images and picturesque surroundings. With his cameraman, Marius Clausen, he emphasized the visual look of his films. His use of side light, inventive camera angles, and close-ups, combined with unusual sets, made him an original stylist. He was not very effective in his cutting technique, but he could establish marvelously choreographed scenes in which people moved in elegant patterns within the frame.

Holger-Madsen's reputation as an idealistic director led him to direct the big prestige films with pacifist themes which Ole Olsen, the head of Nordisk Films Kompagni, wanted to make in the naive hope that he could influence the fighting powers in the First World War. The films were often absurdly simple, but Holger-Madsen brought his artistic sense to the visual design of these sentimental stories. One of his most famous films is Himmelskibet from 1917, a work about a scientist who flies to Mars in a rocket ship. There he is confronted with a peaceful civilization. The film has obtained a position as one of the first science–fiction films.

When the Danish cinema declined, Holger-Madsen went to Germany. Returning to Denmark after the 1920s, he was offered the opportunity of directing during the early sound film period, but his productions were insignificant. He was a silent film director; the image was his domain, and he was one of the craftsmen who molded and refined the visual language of film.

—Ib Monty

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Holger-Madsen." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Holger-Madsen." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 20, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/movies/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/holger-madsen

"Holger-Madsen." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Retrieved September 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/movies/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/holger-madsen

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.