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Terribly Happy (2010)

Jakob Cedergren , Lene Maria Christensen , Henrik Ruben Genz  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jakob Cedergren, Lene Maria Christensen, Kim Bodnia
  • Directors: Henrik Ruben Genz
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Danish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Oscilloscope Laboratories
  • DVD Release Date: July 13, 2010
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003IM9JWM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,739 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Terribly Happy" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Terribly Happy, the 2010 Danish Academy Awards submission for Best Foreign Film, has been compared to the Coen brothers' noir comedies Blood Simple and Fargo, but it also bears likeness to Roman Polanski's odd, psychological horror films like The Tenant. The deadpan comedy here is so bleak that it will hardly induce laughter, yet plot ironies that pile upon each other throughout make this story uniquely gruesome and uncanny. In Terribly Happy, policeman Robert Hansen (Jakob Cedergren) is relocated, as punishment, from Copenhagen to the small town of Skarrild in a flat, rural Danish county called South Jutland. Delivered to a deserted main street with a warning that major action may occur, Robert is hardly convinced that there will be a single activity to pass time. Slowly, through Robert, viewers meet and greet the quirky community characters, like Dr. Zerleng (Lars Brygmann), a poker-playing, drug-addled physician with access to the town secrets, and Ingerlise Buhl (Lene Maria Christensen), the town beauty who dates a beast, Jørgen (Kim Bodnia). Robert quickly discovers that disappearances in a nearby bog are obviously solvable crimes but are so covered up by the community that he must assimilate, through violence, in order to expose injustice. However, as this violence escalates, a miniature but brutal war between Robert and his antagonists ensues, leaving him ensnared in a swampy situation into which he sinks deeper and deeper. Part of the dry humor in Terribly Happy relies on teasing its podunk, zombielike characters, and part of it is in the crime plot that reaches an absurd plateau as the last bodies are dredged out of sludge. While the film is highly individualistic and the script well written, the pacing feels weighted down in the mud that permeates the setting. Its slow-moving approach to crescendo may be seen as a drag to some, while to others it will mark another success in the film's aim to show how a dreadfully dull setting induces insanity. --Trinie Dalton

Product Description

A taut, noirish psychological thriller, TERRIBLY HAPPY displays an eerie and often macabre vision of the darkest depths to which people will go to achieve a sense of security and belonging. Robert Hanson (Jakob Cedergren) is a Copenhagen police officer tr

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terribly great June 1, 2010
This movie definitely deserves to be watched - and to be rated (by those having watched it!)!

It is absolutely funny, sometimes makes you laugh out loud, sometimes simply makes you shake your head delightedly. It is different from any other movie I have seen so far and has been one of my favourite movies of the last 5 years at least. If you need comparisons: The one with the Coen Brothers is probably one of the best. One particular movie that came to my mind while watching "TH" was "Very bad things" - maybe that helps...

Terribly happy has a great story, told in a rather slow tempo, the main characters are very well developed - but whenever you think you know them, there'll be something happening, that makes the whole thing turn into another direction. Very psychological, strange, sometimes irritating, on the other hand beautifully photographed, always surprising, simply lovable and most of all damn funny - that's what "Terribly happy" is!!!

(sorry for my english - this was my first movie review ever...)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 stars - Play the Hand You're Dealt November 14, 2010
The opening sequence of 'Terribly Happy' is a glorious montage of the flat Danish Countryside - as bleak and dead as any early-Winter day in the upper Mid-Western United States - and a gravel voice describing a surreal yet absorbing legend associated with the land. This tale obliquely illuminates actions still to come, though as with any real attempt to peer into human behavior, the explanation may sound elliptical to some viewers. Still, the effect is mostly positive until one remembers that the combination of images and words at the beginning of 'Terribly Happy' bear a startling resemblance to the Coens' 'No Country for Old Men', with, I assume, the same intended result. But while Tommy Lee Jones occasionally hits a false note in his delivery, the voice from 'Terribly Happy', Puk Scharbau, rings true throughout. This may be from unfamiliarity with the language - a native Dane might find objections to Mr. Scharbau's narration that an English speaker can not, but overall, 'Terribly Happy' does suffers somewhat due to the proximity of the two films' release dates, even if this particular technique originated long before 'No Country'.

It is worth the extra time describing the opening of the film - it is its best part. Cinematographer Jørgen Johansson, under the direction of Henrik Ruben Genz, provides all of the film's high points - this is a nicely photographed film, approaching excellent, even in such a stark and bleak environment - and while his work doesn't make the film a 'must-see', it certainly elevates the entire production.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terror in off the beaten track Denmark September 23, 2011
By Mikey
Frygtelig Lykkelig (Terribly Happy) is a thoroughly enjoyable Danish film set in the remote South Jutland border town of Skarrild starring some of Denmark's finest acting talent. Fans of the original (Danish) version of The Killing will recognise two of the main players Jakob Cedergren (Phillip Dessau in The Killing 1) who stars as policeman Martin Hansen and Kim Bothnia (Bulow in The Killing 1) who has the role of Jørgen Buhl. Lars Brygmann (Rejseholdet and Forsvar) stars as Dr Zerlang.

Tightly wound policeman Robert Hansen (Cedergren) is transferred from Copenhagen to Skarrild after a mental breakdown and an initially unspecified infraction. In Skarrild the clannish locals dislike by-the-book law enforcement, relying instead on their own unique brand of frontier justice, and outsiders either adapt or disappear. Skarrild's main police business appears to be shoplifting. We meet a femme fatale - oversexed Ingerlise (Lene Marie Christensen), a bully of a drunk, a doctor of dubious ethics and a bog where inconvenient secrets are sent to die.

My favourite part of the film was the drinking showdown between Martin and Jørgen - pretty different to your average twist. The story leaves you guessing at every turn. One question which lingers throughout is whether or not Dr Zerlang will find a fourth member of his card club.

This film is a real treat and kept my interest all the way through to the thrilling conclusion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Copenhagen cop (Robert) is sent to an isolated town (Skarrild) because he pulled a gun on his wife and her lover. Robert resigns himself to 'serving out his time' while being a good policeman, then returning to his former job. However, he soon becomes involved with a domestic violence situation involving an attractive woman who cannot tear herself away from her abusive husband, or even file a police report on him. Eventually this 'Russian roulette' results in her accidental death at Robert's hands - he's trying to silence her loud moaning after they have sex while her husband is looking for him, and ends up suffocating her. However, viewers also learn that the local physician (self-described 'Dr. Quack') has also given her an overdose of pills. To cover up both his own and Robert's complicity Dr. Quack issues a death certificate citing heart failure as the cause. This absolves the abusive husband of any responsibility, but the town also realizes they are all contributing factors for failing to do anything about the on-going abuse. The townspeople try to assuage their guilt by marching the husband into the bog - to be sucked under; policeman Bob, however, rescues the husband.

The abusive husband eventually figures out that Robert killed his wife, and seeks revenge. Robert then shoots and kills the husband. Neighboring police investigate, and whitewash Robert's involvement. Thinking he's off the hook Robert prepares to leave, only to be confronted by three townspeople (including Dr. Quack) who reveal that they know the entire story, and will leak details unless he stays. Their motivation - to ensure a fourth player at their nightly card games.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Thriller Ive seen in a very long long time
I don't want to give a single thing away so all I will say is if you really want to watch one hell of a movie this is the one to watch. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Maria P. Mason
3.0 out of 5 stars a little better than OK
A little on the bizarre side. The whole thing was depressing, from the weather to the weird people in the town.
Published 2 months ago by Janet
4.0 out of 5 stars "Let Him Who Is Without Sin Cast the First Stone"
Wow! I think this is another proof that good cinema isn't about big budget or famous stars or extraordinary settings. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Daniel Gamboa
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine mystery of bogs, murder and dry humor
Copenhagen cop Robert Hansen (Jakob Cedergren) makes a bad mistake. As a consequence he is assigned to Skarrild, a dismal village in South Jutland, a place of cows, mud and soggy... Read more
Published 17 months ago by C. O. DeRiemer
5.0 out of 5 stars Terribly Terrific
If you are a fan of the Cohen brother's movies, you will love this. Clever story and dialogue, I enjoyed the movie from beginning to end. I can't wait to see it again.
Published on January 25, 2012 by K. H.
4.0 out of 5 stars Coen-esque Danish film
Very good darkly humorous Danish "fish out of water" film. As often mentioned by reviewers it has a Coen Brothers feel to it - the better Coen Brothers films.
Published on January 12, 2012 by Michael Harbour
1.0 out of 5 stars Terribly Boring
I usually take a lot of pride in writing a thoughtful, insightful review. In the case of this film, I will be brief. Read more
Published on June 23, 2011 by Tuesday Dogg
5.0 out of 5 stars It's an Original
as a life long (65), movie fan i found this movie to have something that is terribly lacking in the film industry, originality. Read more
Published on February 17, 2011 by Peter at Lake Tahoe
This Danish thriller was compelling from the very start. A narrator tells us a story about this remote Danish village where it rains so much that cows can be swallowed up by bogs. Read more
Published on September 23, 2010 by Margaux Paschke
The U.S. DVD box art is misleading but the movie itself is compelling and original.

Make no mistake; I was hugely entertained and unsettled by this darkish dramedy from... Read more
Published on September 6, 2010 by Robin Simmons
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