Johan Jacobsen

(1912 – 1972)

Director and producer. Born 14 March 1912. Died 7 July 1972, at age 60. Son of actress Christel Holck (1887-1969) and Jacob Jacobsen (1865-1955), a theatre and cinema manager. Long-time marriage to the director Annelise Hovmand, divorced in 1966.

At age 17, Jacobsen was hired by the distribution company First National. A few years later, he became an assistant to A.W. Sandberg and Lau Lauritzen Sr., two directors at the Palladium film company, where he learned the craft from the ground up. Spending a few years at film studios in London and Paris, Jacobsen made his directorial debut in 1938 with "Under Byens Tage," a project he took over from Sandberg, who had suddenly fallen ill and died. Jacobsen directed 14 features for Palladium over the next years, before he started producing his own films in 1947.

In 1950, he founded his own company and studio, Flamingo Studio, located in Nærum north of Copenhagen, and in 1954 he got a cinema licence for the Triangel theatre. Though his company performed respectably in the 1950s, business went downhill in the 1960s after Annelise Hovmand's "Frihedens pris" (1960). In 1966, because of poor finances, Jacobsen had give up his cinema licence, which was taken over by film maker Mogens Skot-Hansen, who also acquired Flamingo Studio, where he started producing short films under the banner of Laterna Film.

Jacobsen directed such artistically worthy and original films as "Otte Akkorder" / "Eight Chords" (1944), "Soldaten og Jenny" / "The Soldier and Jenny" (1947), "3 Aar efter" / "Three Years after" (1948) and, most notably, the chamber drama "En fremmed banker på" / "A Stranger Knocks" (1959). The film led to a clash with the censors, who demanded that the highly erotic scenes between Birgitte Federspiel and Preben Lerdorff Rye be cut. Jacobsen eventually had to accept a compromise and 17 seconds of footage were cut.

In the mid-1960s, before selling Flamingo Studio, Jacobsen acquired the movie rights to Isak Dinesen's "Out of Africa," which he worked hard to realise as a lavish international production. Several stars were mentioned for the lead, including Vanessa Redgrave. Jacobsen and Hovmand even did a month of research in Kenya, but the project was too daunting for a small, struggling film company.

His foray into production left Jacobsen with significant debt, and job offers were not forthcoming. For a period, he made a living writing short stories for weekly magazines. In 1970, he briefly served as cinema director of Nørreport Bio. In the last years of his life, Jacobsen managed Merkur Teatret, a cinema owned by the flamboyant Danish tycoon Simon Spies.

Title Year Function Category
The judge 1966 Direction, Production DK/Feature
Fatal meeting 1964 Direction, Voiceover, Editing DK/Short fiction
Dronningens vagtmester 1963 Direction, Executive producer DK/Feature
Sextet 1963 Production DK/Feature
The Musketeers 1961 Production DK/Feature
Frihedens pris 1960 Production DK/Feature
A stranger knocks 1959 Direction, Cinematography, Producer DK/Feature
Krudt og klunker 1958 Production DK/Feature
Ingen tid til kærtegn 1957 Production DK/Feature
Splintered enamel 1956 Direction DK/Documentary
Den store gav-tyv 1956 Direction DK/Feature
Vi som går stjernevejen 1956 Direction DK/Feature
Blændværk 1955 Direction, Production DK/Feature
Filmforum S 09 1955 Appearance Audio recordings
Hvorfor stjæler barnet? 1955 Production DK/Documentary
Den lille pige med svovlstikkerne 1953 Direction, Script, Production DK/Short fiction
The secret of Treasure Island 1953 Direction DK/Short fiction
Problems to be solved 1952 Voiceover DK/Documentary
Alt dette og Island med 1951 Direction, Production manager: Denmark and Norway DK/Feature
Som sendt fra himlen 1951 Direction, Producer DK/Feature
The needle 1951 Direction, Production DK/Feature
A day at the radio station 1950 Direction, Production DK/Documentary
My wife is innocent 1950 Direction, Production DK/Feature
Frederick IX of Denmark 1949 Direction DK/Documentary
Tre år efter 1948 Direction DK/Feature
Next time it's you 1948 Direction, Voiceover, Production DK/Documentary
Soldaten og Jenny 1947 Direction, Script, Production DK/Feature
Lise kommer til Byen 1947 Sig selv DK/Feature
Brevet fra Afdøde 1946 Direction DK/Feature
Far betaler 1946 Direction DK/Feature
The invisible army 1945 Direction, Stikker DK/Feature
Mens Sagføreren sover 1945 Direction DK/Feature
When the peace came 1945 Production DK/Documentary
Otte Akkorder 1944 Direction DK/Feature
Three school friends 1944 Direction DK/Feature
My dear wives 1943 Direction DK/Feature
Som du vil ha' mig - ! 1943 Direction DK/Feature
Kærlighed paa Rulleskøjter 1943 Production DK/Commercial
Ballade i Nyhavn 1942 Direction DK/Feature
Baby paa Eventyr 1942 Direction DK/Feature
Tag det som en Mand - ! 1941 Direction DK/Feature
Tobiasnætter 1941 Direction, Script DK/Feature
I de gode gamle Dage 1940 Direction DK/Feature
En lille Tilfældighed 1939 Direction, Script DK/Feature
Under Byens Tage 1938 Direction DK/Feature
Med fuld Musik 1933 Dansende ung mand DK/Feature