Day of Wrath (1943) Script

DAY OF WRATH Day of wrath! O day of mourning! See fulfill'd the prophet's warning!

Heav'n and earth in ashes burning!

Oh, what fear man's bosom rendeth, when from Heav'n the Judge descendeth, on whose sentence all dependeth!

Wondrous sound the trumpet flingeth, through earth's sepulchres it ringeth, all before the throne it bringeth.

Death is struck, and nature quaking, all creation is awaking, to its Judge an answer making.

Lo! The book exactly worded, wherein all hath been recorded, thence shall judgement be awarded.

While the wicked are confounded, doom'd to flames of woe unbounded, call me with thy Saints surrounded.

Low I kneel, with heart submission, see, like ashes, my contrition, help me in my last condition.

As the said Herlof's Marte has been named by three upright and honourable men to be a witch, we order that she be seized and brought before the law.

12th May 1623, Jens Uhlen

I hope it will help.

Probably. It's herbs from beneath the gallows.

It's strange to think they are so powerful.

There is power in evil.

Who are they after now?

Tilt her up, higher and higher, till she dances on the pyre!

Open the door, Herlofs Marte.

Put them away.

Absalon. Yes?

Martin may be here soon.

Already? Yes, the ship has come.

I will be right there.

Have you the key to the loft?

Yes. May I have it?

In this vicarage I carry the keys.

I'm Absalon's wife.

Yes, but I'm his mother.

It's hard for an old dog to learn new tricks.

And it's hard for a young wife to come to an old house.

You're harsh with her.

I want her to be a good wife to you.

She is.

When your first wife was alive...

Yes, but she is no longer alive.

No, but your son is alive.


And now he is coming home, to a new mother who is years younger than himself.

What of that?

What of that?

I think it is shameless.

I'm going to meet Martin.

Is Master Absalon at home?

No, he has gone to meet his son.

That's me.

Are you his son?

Are you his wife?

It seems I've seen your face before.

Where could that have been?

In my thoughts, perhaps.

I've thought of you very often.

I wondered what you would say to such a young mother.

I promise to be a good son to you.

Yes, now you are my son.

My young mother.

MY big son.

Where is Father?

There he is.

Anne, let's surprise him.

I'll hide here.

Isn't Martin with you?

No. Isn't he here? No.

Well, he'll arrive soon. I suppose so.

Martin's songbook.

The Maiden in the Apple Tree

"A maiden sat in an apple tree, reaching for an apple she could see.

"Beneath, a boy was taking a nap, she slipped and landed in his lap."


And this is Anne.

Won't you kiss your mother?

Let's go and talk in my room. Yes, father.

Herlofs Marte.

You're bleeding.

That is nothing.

Anne, you must help me. Hide me.

They'll burn me if they catch me.

You've been named as a witch?


I helped your mother.

She was named as a witch, too.

Mother? It's not true.

She only escaped because you were her daughter.

Anne! You can't send me to my death.


Get firewood for the oven.

Come with me.

And Bente, clean the fish.

Where are you going? Nowhere.

Not shutting the cupboard?

Martin! Grandmother!


Welcome, my boy!


Why so quiet, Anne?

We're searching for Herlofs Marte.

Here? Yes.

Here, in the vicarage?

Children saw her come in here.

But that's impossible...

Have you seen Herlofs Marte?

If she is here, she must have sneaked in.

Search for her.

There's blood here.

Listen here.

Is there another way to the loft? Yes, by the other stairs.

Tell Hans and Henrik to go that way.

Lord have mercy upon us.

And this was to have been a day of rejoicing.

It is ordered that Master Absalon Pedersson, Cathedral Notary shall hear the confession of Herlofs Marte that her soul may be delivered of evil.

Help me, Absalon, save me from the flames.

Only God can help you.

You can, if you want to.

I'm only asking for what you did for Anne's mother.

What do you mean? You spared her.

Say no more than you can justify.

I say what I know.

You knew she was a witch, but kept quiet.

You lie! You kept quiet, for Anne's sake.

Come here.


I'm pleading for my life.

You should plead not for your life, but for your soul.

Now confess the truth.

What am I to confess?

That you are a witch.

A witch?

I know someone who was one.

Anne's mother, and her you let escape.


I'm so dreadfully afraid of death.

Come with me.

You here? I came to hear the choir.

Why are they learning that? To sing when Herlofs Marte is burnt.

I keep hearing her screams.

Come. Come, let's go.


She's weakening.

Will you confess? Yes.

At last!

Release her now.

The executioner stretched her limbs, whereupon she undertook to make confession.

Now tell us, how did you enter the devil's service?


Answer me!

So you still will not confess?

Once more. No!

Where did you first meet the devil?

Was it beneath the gallows? Yes.

You had to trample on the Cross? Yes.

He forbade you to attend Communion?

You had to renounce God and Christ? Yes.

You signed an eternal contract with the devil?


Anything else?


A beautiful confession.

She's a hard one.

Can't she denounce anyone?


We have not finished.

Tell me: do you know any other witches?


Have you ever known any?

Can you denounce anyone?

She's dead. Who was she?

Who she was...

Who she was?

Come on, who was she?

What was her name? I don't remember.

But I shall remember you.


If you send me to my death, you shall follow.

Your threats have no effect on me.

Tell me the name, the one you knew.

So, speak up.

I'm saying no more, I've said enough.

We'll soon loosen your tongue.

That will do.

I shall speak to her myself.

Save me from the flames.

I know you won't fail me.

I beseech Thee, God, that this woman may repent and turn to Thee, that Thy mercy may enter her heart and assure her salvation.


Take heart.

Be strong.

Take her away.

Come with me.

Come on.

Did she denounce anyone? No.

Torture might have made her speak.

All things are revealed in God's good time.

...having been tortured, to the glory of God, she voluntarily confessed as stated above and witnessed by us priests assembled.

14th June 1623 Absalon Pederssén

Gathering winter fuel already? No, it's for the pyre.

I have come to prepare you for death.

So you have failed me. No!

No, I have not failed you.

My thoughts have been with you all these days, wondering how to win eternal life for you.

Never mind the sermon.

I don't fear heaven or hell.

I only fear dying.

I spared Anne, and you failed me.

No, Marte, no!

But it's not too late:

Anne shall suffer as I am suffering.

What are you saying?

If I am burnt, she shall burn, too! Martel

Oh, no...

If they burn me...

If they burn me...

I don't want to burn, I don't want to!

I don't want to!

I don't want to! I don't want to!

Go away!

Go away! Go away!

Are you going? Yes, I can't bear it here.

Stay with me.


I want to speak to Master Absalon.

What do you want him for? I want to speak to Master Absalon!

You want to denounce someone?

I want to speak to Master Absalon.

She asks to speak to you.

Spare me the flames. If not, then...

Fear not, the Lord is merciful.

He will open your eyes and turn your soul from sin.

I'll denounce Anne, do you hear?

I'll get even with you.

You will burn, you will burn!

You will regret this!

You yourself are going to the devil!

You hypocrite, you liar!

You liar!

You liar!

The day of wrath, as dark as the night!

Shakes the Earth to its very core As the sun is held captive in the dark The day of wrath strikes, ablaze And we shall all be engulfed by its flames Whilst the beautiful, earthly palace collapses The day of wrath strikes, ablaze On this day, which was exceptionally fine, Herlofs Marte was burnt, happily.

My God, I beg of you to help me in my great despair.

I have been your faithful servant and have done as you have commanded.

And now my soul is fraught with doubt.

Lord, let your light shine before me, so that I may find a path from this painful darkness.

Hear my prayer, Lord. Amen.

Do you want me?


Something pains you.

What is it?

Tell your mother.


I have sinned.

Sinned against God.

I have lied to Him.


Tell me.

I am your mother.

Am I not? Yes.

But this is a battle I must fight alone.

Ever since Herlofs Marte was taken away, you have been a changed man.

Since she was burnt, you've been strange.

Did she denounce someone, and you've kept it to yourself?


She didn't denounce a living soul.

A living soul?

A living soul?

Have you ever looked into Anne's eyes?

Have you seen how they burn?

I'm thinking about her mother...

Her eyes burned like that.

Why say this to me?

One day you may have to choose.

Choose between what?

Between God and Anne.

You speak out of hatred for Anne.

No, out of love for you.

Good night, grandmother.

Good night, Martin.

Good night.

Good night.

Good night, Father.

Good night, my boy.

Good night, Anne.


We need to talk.

It's about your mother.


Is it about mother being...

You knew about that? Yes.

But was it true?

She admitted it.

What did she admit?

She had the power of calling.

The power of calling? Yes.

She could call the living and the dead, and they had to come.

If she wished someone dead, they died.

Is it true you spared her to get me?

Do you condemn me for that?

For being good to my mother?



But were you good to me?

Have I not been a good husband? Yes, you have.

But have you asked if I love you?

You were so young, a child.

Yes, but did I love you?

It's strange.

I've never thought about that.

I suppose you haven't.



Take me and make me happy.

No, no...

I'm going to my room.

I have much to discuss with God.

Good night, Anne.

Look into my eyes.

Your wonderful eyes.

So innocent, so pure and clear.


And mother?

She could call the living and the dead and they had to come, wasn't that it?

Why do you ask?

I'm thinking how strange a power my mother had.

To think that a human being can possess such power.


I can do it.

I can do it.

Anne, you're crying.

I'm seeing you through tears.

Tears I am wiping away.

No one else has such eyes.

What are they like?

Innocent, pure and clear?


Deep and mysterious.

But I see into their depths.

What do you see?

A trembling, quivering flame.

Which you have lit.


Come out to the birch trees.

How happy I am.

Just saying, "I love you" and knowing that you and I...

You were always in my thoughts.

And you in my dreams.

Here is the spring.



No more water. What, then?


Listen to the whispering.

It's the grass, humming.

What is it humming?

A song about us.

A song about your love.

And yours.

Oh, Martin!

Hold me close.

Take me and make me happy.

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.

Amen. Amen.

Amen. Amen.

May I read from The Song of Songs?

With pleasure.

"Thus spake the Rose of Sharon to her beloved:

"How handsome you are, my beloved!

"As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, "so is my beloved among the sons."

Enough for today, I think.


Will you be quiet?

You hateful bitch!

Grandmother! Yes?

I mean it!

Martin, what is the matter with you?

You've become so distant from me and from your father.

Promise me to think of your father, not to cause him sorrow.

Martin, will you...

Grandmother is not good to you.

What does it matter, if you are good to me?

If you love me...

Anne, what will become of us?

Kiss me.

Then I'll kiss you.

Here you go. Thank you.

Close the door.

I've never heard Anne laugh like that before.

It's as though she's changed.

Even her voice is different.

Indeed, she has changed.

When I see those two together, I feel how old I am, and how young she is.

It's good that Martin has come home.

I'll go to them, and be young with the young.

How lovely to hear you laugh.

We're going out.

Where? To the river.

Oh, I was going to ask you to read my sermon.

I'll do that, father.

Can't it wait? I was looking forward to...

I'd be the last to deprive you of pleasure.

Off you go. Thanks.

Come on.

The parish clerk is here.

Master Laurentius has sent for you.

He is dying.

Master Laurentius!

He wants you to prepare him.

I've brought the holy vessel.

I'm ready.

How wonderfully alive your hands are.

Your fingers.

Your wrist.

I can feel your pulse.

Beating for you.

The sun is making your cheeks rosy.

It's not the sun, it's happiness.

Happiness... how long will it last?


Anne, where shall we end?

Wherever the stream takes us.

The day will come... Don't think of it, much can happen.

I keep seeing my father.

I see only you.

Yes, here I lie.

As snug as in a mother's arms.

Herlofs Marte didn't forget me.

What do you mean?

She promised me death.

She received her just punishment.


Anne, let me travel.

Travel? Yes.

Let us part for a time.



How could we ever part?

Think of all we have given each other.

See that tree?


It is bowed in sorrow. No, in longing.

In sorrow for us.

In longing for its reflection in the water.

We can no more be parted than the tree and its reflection.

My body I have of this world, and to the world I return it.

My soul I have from God, and to God I return it.


Give me your hands.

Here, you have them.

Now I can hold them till mine grow cold.

It will not be long before I follow.

Are you comforting me? No.

I feel death tugging at my coat.

But I shall meet him with courage and hope.

Though he were dead, yet shall he live.


If we could die together now...


Die? Why?

To atone for our sin.


Is it a sin to love?

Anne... Shh!

Don't speak or think of anything except that we belong to each other.

As the apple tree among the trees of the wood,

so is my beloved among the sons.

What weather!

We shall hear of disasters after this storm.

Do we hear of anything else nowadays?

Did you remember Absalon's ale?

No, I forgot.

The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, and all your sins preserve thy body and soul into everlasting life.

The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which was shed for thee preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life.

You mustn't see.

Yes, let me see.

See what it is?

Yes. A pear tree.

A pear tree? Anyone can see it's an apple tree.

There's an apple blossom.

Only one? Just one, on my tree.

I hope Absalon doesn't cross the marsh.

I'd go to meet him, if I knew which way he was coming.

But he may go around the marsh.

Yes, and if you go around, he will cross the marsh.

You do understand that Anne wants you to stay at home.

Anne is right.

Better to wait here than wander the paths in the dark.

In that case, we'll all wait.

Are you sitting up? Yes.

Then I'm going to bed.

Lord have mercy on those at sea.

And those who aren't.

You're thinking of Absalon?

Yes, and of you.

Good night.

There's naught so still as a heart that has ceased to beat.


You ought to find a wife.

There's no hurry.

Your father is everything in the world to me.

In him, God gave me the son I wanted.

I'll protect him until I die.


Why can't you stand Anne?

I've done her no harm, as I know of.

But you can't stand her?

No, Martin, I can't stand her.

I hate her.

Father's wife?

The only sorrow your father caused me was when he brought her here.

How can you say such a thing?

I must, because it's the truth.

An innocent woman.


Such a...

Well... I've said what I had to say.

Now I'm going to bed.

Good night, Martin.

May the Lord's hand be upon you.

My Anne.

Yes, yours.

Mine... but my father's wife.

Yes, but I have never loved him.

And he has never loved me.

Do you never think about him?

Yes, I often think if he was dead...

You wish him dead? No.

I only said "if"...

Are you ill, Master Absalon?

No, it was as though death brushed my sleeve.

Death? Yes.

Let's keep going.

We'll live by the sea in a little house.

I'll awaken with my head on your shoulder, and wake you with a kiss.

We'll lie like that for a long time.

Then a little Martin will cry from his cradle.

I'll take him up...

And as I found life on your breast, he shall find life at my breast.

I shall pass to him all the tenderness you gave me.

I'll sing to him about you and me.

Isn't it lovely to think about?


But it's only a dream.

What does it matter, when the dream is beautiful?

Not in bed yet?

No, we waited up for you.

Good evening, father.

Good evening, Martin.

Thank you.

You were out for so long.

How is Master Laurentius?

God granted him a gentle death.

Your ale has been kept warm.

Thank you.

Thank you for sitting up.

Father, why don't you go to bed?

Yes, I'm tired, but I can find no rest.

I have come from a man who died a good death.

But when I think of all the deathbeds I've sat by, all the sighs I've heard, all I can see is sin... sin.


A fleeting pleasure, a secret sin.

Lord Jesus, what lives people live.

How strangely you talk!

Because I have a strange feeling of unease.

Out there I felt that death was holding my hand.

I heard nothing.

I saw nothing.

But in my soul I felt that my death had been determined.

Father, you are tired.

You are ill. No.

I'm not ill, but I'm tired.

Now we'll go to bed.

Good night, my boy, sleep well.

If only I could lift the burden of your thoughts.

You have your own worries.

You shouldn't dwell on death.

You are right, Anne, but I can't help it.

Now my death has been determined.

Who would wish you dead?

No, who would wish that?

Anne, do you never wish me dead?

Why should I do that?

I have done you a great wrong.

I never asked if you wanted to be mine.

I just took you.

I took your best years.

A wrong that can never be put right.

Yes, it's true.

You have taken my best years, and you have taken my joy.

I have burned for somebody I could love.

I have dreamt of a child to hold in my arms.

You haven't even given me that.

Have I ever wished you dead?

I have wished it hundreds of times.

I have wished you dead when you were with me and when you were away from me.

But never as intensely as since Martin and I...

Martin and you?

Yes, Martin and I.

Now you know.

That's why at this very moment I wish you dead. Dead!





What's going on?







Oh, Martin!

Shall I keep vigil?

No, Martin will keep watch tonight.

Why are you so quiet?

Say something.

Did he know that... What do you mean?

Did he know... that you and I... Oh, Martin!

You told him?

He knew. That is why he called for me.

I'm cold. Warm me.

I still hear his voice.

Father... Martin!


Is it for him you weep, or for me?

For myself. Why?

God, I wish I were dead.

It's all over.

No, Martin. It is just beginning.

Not for me. For us.

Why did he have to die?

I believe he died for our sake.


I'm frightened of you.

I'm frightened of the person I love.

Are you going? Yes.

Have you no thought for me?

Now I can only think of him.




I'll stay and keep watch now.

Shall I keep watch with you?

No, I would like to be alone.

You are avoiding me.

I'm avoiding myself most of all.


We should go down on our knees and beg his forgiveness.

I have nothing to beg his forgiveness for.

But I know he would have forgiven us.

He stands before God and accuses us.

No, Martin.

He is pleading for us, because he sees how we suffer.

Do you remember saying, "if he was dead"?

You wished him dead.

I only thought that if... You wished him dead.

But did you wish it so that he had to die?


Did you have the power to wish him dead?

Answer me!

You're sending me to the flames!

Did you have the power to wish him dead?

Be reasonable, Martin.

I love you. I love you, that is my only crime.

Did you wish him dead?

Don't torture yourself. Martin, you must believe me.

I wasn't responsible for his death.

Kneel by his bier and say it.


I wasn't responsible for his death.

Do you believe me now?



I wonder if we will ever find each other again.

Who is there to prevent it?

The dead.

It's not the dead we need fear.

You're thinking of grandmother.



I love you and you love me.

If we have sinned together, we must stay together in misfortune.

If she accuses me, will you stand at my side?

Yes. I promise you that.

You won't let me go?


We are so bound that we can never let each other go.

Happy days will come, even if we cannot see them now.

Night befalls us As palest day sinks into the grave Jesus, heal our wounds Guide our steps For life on Earth is full of temptation And fraught with mortal danger Help us to avoid sin As, ceaselessly, it lurks at every turn Only your word, Jesus Can fill our soul with hope Awaken us from death's slumber And calm our fears

As son and heir of the departed, I stand by his bier and offer you his mother's, his wife's and my thanks for coming here.

My heart is so full of sorrow that...

God gave me a father greater and better than most men.

Father, you were so good to me that all my days should express thanks to you in word and deed.

Now you have gone, I bitterly regret the sorrows I caused you.

If you were alive, how much better a son I would be.

Forgive me for being so carried away by my feelings.

One word more on behalf of the family.

In accordance with custom, I witness before God and men that my father's sudden death is not to be laid at any person's door.

His wife was with him when death came to him, and his mother and I were with him when he passed over.

Let us illumine with the church's peace the man who lies here.


Now I want to speak.

If his son won't tell the truth, his mother must do so.

My son lies murdered.

And his murderer is sitting there.

Life for life, blood for blood.

I declare his wife innocent. She is blameless for his death.

Every word I have spoken is true.

Would I let my father die unavenged? Yes!

Yes, you would.

Because you yourself are in her power.

She lured you with the help of the evil one.

She murdered her husband with the help of the evil one.

I denounce her as a witch.

Let her deny it, if she dare.

Lord, show us the light in this matter.

With the evil one's help?

You have heard the accusation.

In order that the truth may come to light, I order you to place your hand on the dead man and take the oath.

Are you willing to undergo this test?


I have...

I give witness...

I give witness...


So you got your revenge after all.

Yes, I murdered you with the help of the evil one.

And I have lured your son into my power with the help of the evil one.

Now you know.

Now you know.

I'm seeing you through tears,

but nobody is coming to wipe them away.

Day of wrath! O day of mourning! From the dust of earth returning, man for judgement must prepare him!

Lord all pitying, Jesu blest, grant them thine eternal rest!