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23 November 2016

Karin Ingmarsdotter (1920)

The Swedish silent film Karin Ingmarsdotter/God's Way/Karin Daughter of Ingmar (1920) was a production by Svenska Biografteatren AB. It is the second part in Victor Sjöström's large-scale adaptation of Selma Lagerlöf's novel Jerusalem, and the sequel to Ingmarsönerna/Sons of Ingmar (1919) which Sjöstrom had directed a year earlier. Karin Ingmarsdotter depicted chapter three and four from the novel, and featured Tora Teje as Karin.

Karin Ingmarsdotter (1920)
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1093/1. Photo: Tora Teje in Karin Ingmarsdotter/God's Way (Victor Sjöström, 1920).

Karin Ingmarsdotter (1920)
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1093/2. Photo: Tora Teje in Karin Ingmarsdotter/God's Way (Victor Sjöström, 1920).

Karin Ingmarsdotter (1920)
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1093/3. Photo: publicity still for Karin Ingmarsdotter/God's Way (Victor Sjöström, 1920) with Tora Teje and Tor Weijden.

Karin Ingmarsdotter (1920)
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1093/4. Photo: publicity still for Karin Ingmarsdotter/God's Way (Victor Sjöström, 1920) with Tora Teje and Tor Weijden.

Karin Ingmarsdotter (1920)
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1093/5. Photo: publicity still for Karin Ingmarsdotter/God's Way (Victor Sjöström, 1920) with Nils Lundell and Victor Sjöström.

I don't think they will need any coffee!


Karin Ingmarsdotter/God's Way (Victor Sjöström, 1920) is situated in the Dalarna region in Sweden, where the workers are stern believers. Karin (Tora Teje) is the daughter of the rich farmer Big Ingmar (Victor Sjöström). She is courted by young Halvor (Tor Weijden) who wants to marry her.

Ingmar is willing to give Halvor Karin's hand, provided the future groom should not be like his father: a drunkard. In the scheduled probation by Ingmar, Halvor is once weak and takes to the bottle when he and Karin visit the city of Falun. After shopping Halvor is fed drunk by rascals, while Eljas Eloff Ersson (Nils Lundell) and his greedy father exacerbate the situation. Disgusted, Karin rejects Halvor, despite his protests.

Then the dream bursts and Karin marries Eljas. But Karin gets from bad to worse, her decision proves to be wrong. While Halvor's slip remains unique, Elias is slipping rapidly into alcoholism. During a flood Big Ingmar saves children but is hit himself by a floating log. He notices his watch has been ruined by the blast and realises he will die. Afterwards Eljas inherits all and becomes the main farmer. Not hindered by his own father and his father-in-law anymore, he succumbs to alcoholism.

Things become worse when Karin's little brother Lill-Ingmar (Bertil Malmstedt) crushes the liquor bottle of Eljas and his drinking buddy. Eljas tricks Little Ingmar in drinking vodka. Karin is fed up and manages to host her kid brother with schoolmaster Storm and his wife, who will take up his education. Little Ingmar gives his father's watch to Halvor, as he made his son promise to give the watch to someone he wronged in his lifetime. Halvor repairs the watch and gives Little Ingmar a new one.

When Eljas hears about the clock he visits Halvor, but falls from the stairs so badly, he is bedridden in Halvor's house. His alcoholism and misbehaviour increase. When he finally dies, Halvor is suspected to have 'helped' him. As a widow, many suitors show up to Karin, so Halvor finally presents himself too, but Karin hesitates because of all what happened. Finally, Big Ingmar's ghost reminds her that Ingmar's sons just need to ask for God's ways. Karen hastily dismisses the suitors and keeps Halvor. Little Ingmar leaves them behind for the stove in the kitchen, but turning to the camera he says: I don't think they will need any coffee!

The critical reception for Karin Ingmarsdotter/God's Way (Victor Sjöström, 1920) was unenthusiastic. Victor Sjöström decided to not direct any more parts of Selma Lagerlöf's novel Jerusalem. Eventually the film adaptation of the novel was finished by Gustaf Molander with Ingmarsarvet/The Ingmar Inheritance (1925) and Till österland/To the Orient (1926) with Lars HansonJenny Hasselqvist and Mona Mårtenson. Molander had started his career as a scriptwriter for Sjóström.


Karin Ingmarsdotter (1920)
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1093/6. Photo: publicity still for Karin Ingmarsdotter/God's Way (Victor Sjöström, 1920) with Victor Sjöström and Bertil Malmstedt.

Tora Teje
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1093/7. Photo: publicity still for Karin Ingmarsdotter/God's Way (Victor Sjöström, 1920) with Tora Teje.

Karin Ingmarsdotter (1920)
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1093/8. Photo: publicity still for Karin Ingmarsdotter/God's Way (Victor Sjöström, 1920) with Tora Teje and Nils Lundell.

Tora Teje in Karin Ingmarsdotter
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1093/9. Photo: publicity still for Karin Ingmarsdotter/God's Way (Victor Sjöström, 1920) with Bertil Malmstedt and Tora Teje.

Karin Ingmarsdotter (1920)
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1093/10. Photo: publicity still for Karin Ingmarsdotter/God's Way (Victor Sjöström, 1920) with Bertil Malmstedt and Tora Teje.

Karin Ingmarsdotter (1920)
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1093/11. Photo: publicity still for Karin Ingmarsdotter/God's Way (Victor Sjöström, 1920) with Tora Teje.

See also our post on Ingmarssönerna/Dawn of Love/Sons of Ingmar (Victor Sjöström, 1919).

Sources: Svenska Filminstitutet (Swedish), IMDb and Wikipedia (German and English). N.B. The description on German Wikipedia is quite different from the content in the database of the Svenska Filminstitutet.

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