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The Emigrants


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Product Details

  • Actors: Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Eddie Axberg, Sven-Olof Bern, Aina Alfredsson
  • Directors: Jan Troell
  • Writers: Jan Troell, Bengt Forslund, Vilhelm Moberg
  • Producers: Bengt Forslund
  • Format: NTSC
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Run Time: 151 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JLUV
  • Learn more about "The Emigrants" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 55 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 28, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
The Emigrants (and its sequal The New Land) and truly great films, and Liv Ullmann and Max von Sydow contribute two of their best performances ever. HOWEVER, what lame-brain decided to release this in VHS in an English-dubbed version ONLY. If any movie requires its native language, it's this one. A huge part of the movie's strength is created by the sense of how "foreign" these new arrivals were in the U.S. The movie literally makes no sense when the family finally makes it to the U.S. and the "Americans" don't understand them--even though in the ridiculously dubbed version they are all speaking English! It's also a travesty that they didn't use Liv Ullmann to dub her own voice (if they HAD to dub it)--and we all know she speaks English quite well. If you have the choice, get the laser disc version. At least it is in Swedish and subtitled. Let's hope the DVD version will not repeate the mistake of the videotape!
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By "paminoc" on December 13, 2001
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Oh wow.....to be honest, I disregarded the other reviews here because I wanted to see this movie again so badly. So, I convinced myself that it couldn't make THAT much difference dubbed instead of subtitles. Boy, was I wrong! It makes a very, very big difference in the authenticity of such wonderful movies.
Being of Swedish extraction from both my parents, I love to hear the beautiful lilt of the Swedish language in movies reproducing the lives of my ancestors. Though I cannot enjoy this version as I could a subtitled one, I will watch it until I can find the subtitled version for myself.
"The New Land"..... the same review applies....except that many years ago I bought the subtitled version for my father.....and I will borrow his rather than watch it dubbed!
Two beautiful movies; and they lose so much with English instead of Swedish words. As another reviewer said, it is just not believable to have a character speak fluent English through out a movie yet not be understood by other English speaking people!
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By "unhelpful" on July 12, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Jan Troell's The Emigrants was released in the U.S. with 40 minutes cut out of it, so it has never really been seen in the States, thanks to Warner Brothers, who were too stupid to grasp the film's significance or, indeed, audiences' abilities to enjoy this 3-hour+ masterpiece. To make matters worse, the only version available is an execrable dubbed version. Even if Von Sydow and Ullmann were there to post-dub their own voices, it is an affront to this magnificent film, and to anyone with brains and taste enough to enjoy it unaldulterated by studio sabotage.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Wikman VINE VOICE on April 17, 2007
Format: VHS Tape
I only saw the Swedish version (the whole series) and I am aware that some of the movie was cut. However, I believe I still have something to say.

This movie is based on a novel by the Swedish author and historian Vilhelm Moberg. The novel is based on his research and is therefore very realistic and historically accurate. It is depicting the experience of Swedish emigrants in the 1840's or 1850's. The main characters are Karl Oskar and his wife Kristina but there are also many other interesting characters in movie, for example, Karl Oskars adventurous brother Robert who goes to California in the search of Gold.

I am a modern Swedish immigrant to the United States. However, emigrating today is much easier than emigrating in 1850. I am not just talking about the amazing hard ships and dangers that Karl Oskar and Kristina had to face, but the fact that they left everything behind. Their young daughter died in Sweden, but they had to visit her grave one last time to never see it again. Emigrating in 1850 meant that everything you ever known would become just a memory. Think about that a minute.

The homesickness of Kristina was a major theme of the movie. Kristina was desperately homesick despite the fact that Karl Oskar and her succeeded in building a better life for their children and grand children. Kristina probably would not have been as homesick if she had emigrated today.

I think this movie is interesting for Swedes and many others, but the movie really speaks to all those Americans whose forefathers came to America long ago, at a time when emigrating was an awesome choice and often a heroic act. I believe this movie will make it possible for many Americans to connect with their long dead immigrant forefathers.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By MarmiteMan on January 31, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Sweden is seen as the very model of a welfare state: modern, progressive, prosperous, manufacturer of sturdy and safe cars, inventor of the three-point seatbelt (with great public spirit and foresight ... not patented!), major exporter of advanced weapons systems, very attractive blondes, and a keen line in flat-packed home-assembly furniture. But Sweden was not always like that. The welfare state did not begin to develop into what it is today until the early 1930s, when the world-wide Depression following the Wall Street Crash of 1929 made its mark. Before then Sweden was primarily a pastoral country, slow to industrialize (even though the copper mines of Dalarna were then among the most valuable in the world), and as much the victim of famine and intolerance as anywhere else in Europe during the 19th Century.
Adapted from Vilhelm Moberg's novels, Utvandrarna is the story of Karl-Oskar Nilsson (Max von Sydow) and his family who, with others disillusioned with their infertile plot of land or seeking to escape religious intolerance and persecution, "emigrated to North America from the Swedish province of Småland in 1844. At that time the parish of Ljuder had 1,925 inhabitants. There were 254 farmers who owned their land, 92 tenant farmers, and 11 tenement soldiers. 39 persons were artisans. There were also 274 servants, 127 paupers, 60 cripples, 5 halfwits, 3 idiots, 3 whores, and 2 thieves. Four men governed the parish by virtue of their spiritual and temporal offices - the deacon of the church, the sheriff, the biggest landowner, and the churchwarden. It was the same in all the other parishes.
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