The candle and the moth / Evangeliemandens Liv

Holger-Madsen (DK, 1915)

Evangeliemandens Liv (Holger-Madsen, DK, 1915)

The young hothead Billy is drifting into a life of crime and has a violent quarrel with his girlfriend Nelly. The lay preacher John Redmond tells Billy his life's story. Many years before, he was a wealthy young man about town; he was enthralled by a seductive demimondaine, but was madly jealous of her other lovers. During a fight with one of them, he pulled a gun, and a stray bullet killed the woman. Sentenced to many years in jail, he repented and found faith with the help of the prison chaplain. He could leave the prison as a new and better man. Inspired by this story, Billy is filled with remorse, and he and Redmond manage to save Nelly, who is about to commit suicide. The two young people are united by Redmond. The sophisticated clair-obscur cinematography demonstrates the high standards of the Nordisk productions. The realistic depiction of contemporary prison conditions is striking, even if the solemn religiosity of the story may be off-putting to some. It is probably the best film made by Valdemar Psilander, Nordisk's biggest star: strong and strikingly handsome, he often portrays psychologically fragile, somewhat weak-willed men. Psilander is introduced with a wonderful vignette where he carefully studies the screenplay, and the three different phases of his character's development (roué, convict, preacher) appear before him. Psilander makes great play with both his usual man-about-town role and with the figure of the apparently faultless preacher, whose pious dedication springs from the awareness of his own grievous sins.

CategoryDK/Feature - Silent films

Basic information

Danish titleEvangeliemandens Liv
Other titlesLægprædikanten
Director Holger-Madsen
Screenplay Holger-Madsen
Director of PhotographyMarius Clausen
Danish theatrical release18.02.1915
Production countryDenmark
Production companyNordisk Films Kompagni
Domestic distribution Fotorama
Print information above

Additional information

Technical info1093 meters / 35 mm / Normal / black/white / Silent

Full credits

Marius ClausenCinematography
Valdemar PsilanderJohn Redmond, Evangeliemanden
Frederik JacobsenBankdirektør Redmond, Johns far
Augusta BladMrs. Redmond, Johns mor
Alma HindingNelly Gray, syerske
Else FrölichEn letlevende dame
Svend KornbeckCharley med jernnæven
Carl SchenstrømAppearance
Philip BechDommer
Robert SchybergAppearance
Axel BoesenFange/festdeltager
Oscar NielsenAppearance
Ingeborg OlsenAppearance
Peter JørgensenAppearance
Maggi ZinnAppearance

Registration of festival participation and awards

The Danish Film Institute registers international festival participation and awards for Danish films, though primarily for films whose festival distribution is handled by the Danish Film Institute, and primarily in connection with festivals prioritised by the Danish Film Institute. Festival participation and awards regarding Danish films that are not handled through the Danish Film Institute's festival distribution will only be registered in connection with "launch" festivals, according to the Danish Film Institute's list of priority festivals. See the list of priority festivals.


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The script

The script is available at:

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