Stolen Spring (1993) Poster


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An enjoyable dramatisation of a famous Danish novel
pbn6 March 2002
"Det forsømte forår" is a film of the classic Danish novel of the same title by Hans Scherfig, published in 1940 and since then common cultural cargo in Denmark. It is about the old school system with physical punishment and little care for the lives of the young students.

Peter Schrøder, a well-known Danish actor and director, has made a very good film out of it, now almost a classic itself. It is strong and amusing and has a cast of wonderful actors, young as well as old. Especially the portraits of the school teachers are wonderful in all their neuroticity, including Frits Helmuth in one of his best film roles as the sadistic Lektor Blomme.

Several times throughout the film, the director turns to dream-like images, trying to capture for example the great ego of Lektor Blomme. I am doubtful about this technique, and the film certainly works best for me in the more realistic scenes filmed on location in Copenhagen schools.

Readers of the book will notice that the director has chosen to place the story differently in time. Here, the students are looking back to the 1960s from the 1990s, whereas the book from 1940 looked back at early twentieth century. Is it really fair to say that things were the same in Danish schools in the 1960s as fifty years before?

Even so, this is a recommendable work of fiction with a strong story which can be enjoyed repeatedly.
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One of the best Danish films ever made!
"Lost Spring" is a Classic in it's own way. The director Peter Schrøder has a unique take on the must read novel by Hans Scherfig. By the way this is Schrøder's debut as a director. You can't tell. It's so well acted as well. Fritz Helmuth is the best part of the film. He is frightening as hell! Tomas Willum Jensen is also very salad as a student. The ending is the best ending ever. I love everything about it!
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Great film, but marred by the same things as all other pieces of Danish cinema
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews5 March 2005
I haven't read the novel behind this film, but I'm told that the storyline and tone is followed fairly well. The plot is very good, and the pacing is above par for a Danish film. The acting is nearly flawless, with few exceptions. The characters are well-written and credible, though that may have more to do with the author of the novel than anyone who worked on the film itself. The film is great in many ways, but I somehow can't really bring myself to completely love it, or even remember it. I saw it for the second time, after having seen it a year earlier, and I couldn't remember any of it. Normally, something, anything makes an impact on me emotionally and I can recall it a long time after. But on this one, nothing had me remembering. There was a good deal of 'oh yeah, that's what happened' but no 'ah, and what happens now is...' Nothing. Not even a detail, a line of dialog, a sound... nothing. I think the problem is that this is struck by the same thing as most, if not all, other Danish films... a lack of creativity, a love of keeping things simple and obvious. Nothing is hinted at, there are no fine lines or symbolisms in the background. Everything is forced down our throats and subtlety is given the cold shoulder. There are several scenes that are awfully misdirected and the editing is terribly rough in many places. Scenes that play out like mystery/tension scenes leave the viewer bored due to us already knowing how they will end. Also, the humor of the film seems to be desperately sprayed all over the whole project, supposedly to make it easier to sit through(although it serves more as a distraction from the serious drama in the film). All in all, it's worth watching, and probably good for a brief discussion or analyzing, but nothing more. A film that is quickly forgotten, maybe you're simply better off reading the book. I recommend it to Danes that either don't have access to the book or just don't care to read it, but don't wish to miss the story and the great themes to it. I don't believe anyone else should bother, though. 8/10
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