Once Upon a Time

Viggo Larsen, Gustav Lund, Denmark, 1907

10 min.DK/Short fictionFairy tale, DramaSilent films

FRAGMENT | The Princess of Illyria rejects all suitors, but suddenly begins to take an interest in a wandering pauper roaming the vicinity of the royal castle. It is none other than the Prince of Denmark and his friend, Kasper Røghat. By means of a magic toy, rattle and copper kettle, the disguised prince manages to secure himself a kiss and a night in the princess’s chamber. Kasper Røghat makes sure that the king is informed of the ‘affair’, causing the princess to be thrown out of the kingdom. She accordingly has to set out for Denmark, heading for a life as the wife of a pauper. Will this fairy tale have a happy end?

The film is an adaptation of Holger Drachmann’s eponymous play from 1885, which in turn is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale about ‘The Swineherd’. Carl Th. Dreyer made a film adaptation in 1922, also available on this site. The 1907-version lacks intertitles and the beginning and some of the end are missing.
Basic information Credits Festivals & awards Materials
Original title Der var engang
Danish title Der var engang
Director Viggo Larsen, Gustav Lund
Based on Efter Holger Drachmanns skuespil.
Director of Photography Axel Sørensen
Appearance Viggo Larsen, Gustav Lund, Robert Storm Petersen, Agnes Nørlund
Production country Denmark
Production company Nordisk Films Kompagni
International sales
Technical info 265 meter, 35 mm, Normal, Black/white, Silent
Danish theatrical release 25.09.1907
Cinemas Kinografen
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Production company Nordisk Films Kompagni


Direction Viggo Larsen
Direction Gustav Lund


Cinematography Axel Sørensen


Prinsen Viggo Larsen
Kasper Røghat Gustav Lund
Kongen Robert Storm Petersen
Prinsessen Agnes Nørlund
Appearance Gerda Jensen
Appearance Clara Nebelong

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