The Flaming Sword

August Blom, Denmark, 1916

73 min.DK/FeatureDrama, Melodrama, ActionSilent films

A mine foreman has two daughters, the fair Edith and the dark Dina. Edith falls in love with the ship's mate Reymers, while Dina runs away with the unscrupulous capitalist Stoll. When the rumor spreads that a comet is on a collision course with Earth, Stoll exploits the situation to make a killing on the stock market. On the eve of the comet's impact, Stoll gathers his friends for a great orgy, but enraged workers storm his grand villa, egged on by Dina's jilted ex-fiance. He, Stoll and Dina all perish. Fire rains down from the sky, and the seas flood the land. The Earth is laid waste. Only two survive: Edith and Reymers, and the film ends with their miraculous reunion.
Inspired by the fear evoked by Halley's comet in 1910, this film was clearly adressed to a public in an age of war where the old order was collapsing. It carries great conviction, thanks to excellent acting and clever use of locations. The camerawork is first class; throughout, the film's images are carefully and elegantly composed. To create scenes of Earth-shattering disaster that would carry conviction must have been the greatest challenge for Blom and his technicians. Special-effects technology was practically non-existent, and financial resources were not unlimited, but the scenes of the cataclysm are surprisingly effective. Fiery sparks rain down from above, quickly shrouding everything in a pall of smoke. While this is obviously an economical solution to the problem of showing the disaster, the effect is eerie, unsettling, and convincingly apocalyptic. Most important of all, the ending, which in summary may sound prepostrously contrived, is in fact dramatically fitting and genuinely moving.
Basic information Credits Materials
Original title Verdens Undergang
Danish title Verdens Undergang
International titles Flammesværdet, Det flammande svärdet, A espada chamejante, La espada flamígera, L' épée flamboyante, The End of the World
Other titles Flammesværdet
Director August Blom
Screenplay Otto Rung
Director of Photography Louis Larsen
Production designer Axel Bruun
Appearance Olaf Fønss, Carl Lauritzen, Ebba Thomsen, Johanne Fritz-Petersen
Production country Denmark
Domestic distribution Fotorama
Technical info 1650 meter, 35 mm, Normal, Black/white, Silent
Danish theatrical release 01.04.1916
Cinemas Palads
Danish rating Allowed for all
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Production company Nordisk Films Kompagni
Domestic distribution Fotorama


Direction August Blom


Script Otto Rung


Cinematography Louis Larsen

Production design

Production design Axel Bruun


Frank Stoll, mineejer og børsspekulant Olaf Fønss
Mineformand West Carl Lauritzen
Dina, Wests datter, forlovet med Flint Ebba Thomsen
Edith, Wests datter Johanne Fritz-Petersen
Minearbejder Flint Thorleif Lund
Styrmand Reymers Alf Blütecher
Den vandrende Prædikant Frederik Jacobsen
Professor Wissmann, astronomisk lærd K. Zimmerman
Appearance Moritz Bielawski
Appearance Erik Holberg

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Reviews and articles

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Type Source Author Date
Program - stumfilm & mikro