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Nine years after the release of his acknowledged masterpiece, Ordet, Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer offered this a story of an individual in search of a measure of personal peace and serenity, which proved to be his last completed film. Gertrud Kanning, like the maid Joan in Dreyer's best-known film, La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc, is a woman in isolation. On the eve of her husband's appointment to a cabinet minister post, she announces that she is leaving their loveless marriage. But her younger lover Erland Jansson, a concert pianist, is more interested in keeping their affair… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's exquisite, unbearable, and unforgettable."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"One of the most purely cinematic discourses of the 1960s."
‑ Tony Rayns, Time Out
"Much maligned on its release, this mesmerising picture was subsequently hailed as one of the most remarkable achievements of a brilliant career."
‑ David Parkinson, Radio Times
"Dreyer's silky camera movements capture the very soul of this character on film."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Emotionally shattering as a masterful purely realistic cinema experience."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Dreyer's film depicts repressed carnal desires that merge with Gertrud's inevitably frustrated spiritual one: the longing for a love so total and consuming that it contains the seeds of its own destruction."
‑ Richard Brody, New Yorker
"In his best films there has always been an underlying human concern that sustained us through any longueurs of execution. Here, under the slow, posed pictures, there is nothing but the dated theme described above."
‑ Stanley Kauffmann, New York Times
"An elegant melodrama, acted and directed with precision. Let it unfold at its own unhurried pace and the rewards are ample and long lasting."
‑ Jon Fortgang, Film4
"Carl Theodor Dreyer's transcendental meditation on love and happiness is his last and one of his best films, with a luminous performance at its center."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Gertrud is a film that is as richly mysterious and inscrutable as it is earthy and wry."
‑ Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine
"Nina Pens Rode has the right luminous quality for the romantic, uncompromising Gertrud, while the men are acceptable if sometimes overindulgent in their roles."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Gertrud... is more museum piece than masterpiece, for this muted and stately study of a woman's quest for perfect love already seems to have been gathering dust for decades."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"The director's trademarks are present: symmetrical compositions in stripped black and white; long unmoving-camera takes; abrupt cuts without dissolves or fades among relatively few separate scenes."
‑ Donald J. Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"What presents the most difficulty is its talkiness (prompting one critic to call it a 'two-hour study of sofas and pianos'), but it is in Dreyer's simple, noncinematic technique one realizes the purity of his vision."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"A morose, utterly passionless film."
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
More reviews for Gertrud on Rotten Tomatoes