(aka "Memories of a Marriage" or "Waltzing Regitze")


directed by Kaspar Rostrup
Denmark 1989


Once Danish film was on top of the world. It all began in 1987 with Gabriel Axel’ “Babettes gæstebud”, which won an academy award for best foreign film, then in 1988 Billy August’s “Pelle Eroberen”, which in 1988 took the Palme d’Or, won another academy award for best foreign film, and when “Dansen med Regitze” was nominated in 1989, the entire international press basically was raving about Danish film. But we lost, fair and square, to a superior film, Tornatore’s “Cinema Paradiso”. And like that, the party was over and Danish film sank into oblivion for nine long years, until “Festen” made people take notice again.

We can learn a lot from this, mainly that foreign press is completely ignorant about film in general, unless its talked about by everyone else. So while Denmark, and many other countries, make exceptionally great films, the world as such remains completely unaware of them, while everyone knows about the latest Hollywood blockbuster, no matter how bad it is.

Based upon the novel by Martha Christensen, a novelist Rostrup seems very fond of, as he also made “Her i nærheden”, the story deals with two “ordinary people”, Karl-Aage and Regitze, and their ups and downs true a almost fifty year marriage. Rostrup chose to tell the story from Karl-Aage’s point of view via flashbacks during their last come-together.

Karl-Aage has his entire life been the quiet one, shy of confrontations, and to a certain degree being lead thru life by Regitze, who not only is head-strong, but very controlling. It’s her point of view or none, and Karl-Aage always, but not always quietly, had to follow. In Danish, one says, that he danced after her whistle, hence the title, which literary means the dance with Regitze. But the title also reflects upon their first dance together, where Karl-Aage pulled himself together and asked Regitze for a dance.

Where the Japanese have mono-no-aware, “Dansen with Regitze” notes upon its Danish cousin, the sad beauty of life. Regitze has cancer and has very little time left to live. However she refuses to let this change her life. So she decides that they should have one last come-together, all the family and all the friends, one last happy moment. And it is during the course of this, Karl-Aage looks back on his life with Regitze, their ups and downs, the sorrow and the laughter, and even though he never got to say anything, he would do it all over again.

It also excels in every other department. The narrative structure is full of ellipsis, some even within themselves, and even today, this sort of structure is very brave and original; especially for a Danish film, as we Danes like things very simple and straight forward. There is something timeless about this structure and the films mise-en-scene, yet it is so incredible Danish. Also in the department of acting, this is amongst the best acted Danish films ever. Starring two of our best actors, Ghita Nørby and Fritz Helmut, who gives one of their most memorable and greatest performances. And finally, let me just say a few words about the production design: Look at frame #1 and watch the arrangement. So typically Danish.

A film of rare beauty.

Henrik Sylow


Theatrical Release: November 17, 1989

Reviews     DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Nordisk Film - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for the Review!

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Nordisk Film

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:23:39

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.72 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital Danish
Subtitles English, Danish, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Nordisk Film

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Stills Gallries
• Trailers

DVD Release Date: January 10, 2005
Keep case

Chapters 13


Comments This is really a low-point for Nordisk Film in terms of production. Here we have one of the best Danish films ever made, one of the most acclaimed Danish films internationally, and what does Nordisk Film do? Release it as a non-anamorphic bare-boned DVD5 discount edition.

Sadly its a reflection of the circumstances for older Danish film, as even a great film like this, probably wont sell more than a few hundred copies. So while it is a production low, the blame really is upon the Danish consumers.

The image is really good, no visual compression artifacts, but lacking details and a crisp sharpness.

The only redeeming feature is English subtitles, so film fans around the world can enjoy it.

 - Henrik Sylow


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Subtitle sample (English subtitles only) -

Native resolution 768px





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