skip navigation
Breaking the Waves

Breaking the Waves(1996)

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here

Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (0)


powered by AFI

Brief Synopsis

A powerful story, set in a remote Scottish village in the early 1970s, about a unique young woman and her profound experience of love and devotion. Bess falls madly in love with Jan, an oil-rig worker, and against the wishes of the strict Calvinist elders of her community, she marries this outsider. Jan is captivated by the innocence radiated by his new bride and for a brief time they have an intensely happy, passionate life together. When Jan returns to the oil-rig, Bess misses him terribly and prays fervently to God to bring him home. Shortly thereafter, Jan is injured in an accident that leaves him paralyzed. Knowing that he will never walk again and devastated that his beautiful, young wife will never make love with him again, Jan misleads Bess by convincing her he can only survive if she takes a lover. Because she is so pure, Bess does what she believes she must in the hope of keeping him alive and soon finds herself in a complicated spiral of love, community and tragedy...

Cast & Crew

Lars Von Trier Director
Udo Kier Man On The Trawler
Adrian Rawlins Doctor Richardson
Jonathan Hackett The Minister
Sandra Voe Bess' Mother

Additional Details

MPAA Ratings:  R Premiere Info: 
Release Date:  1996 Production Date: 
Color/B&W:  Distributions Co:  October Films
Sound:  Production Co:  Zentropa Entertainment .....Production Company, Trust Film Sales .....Production Company, Northern Lights A/S Productions .....Production Company, Liberator Productions .....Production Company, Argus Film Produktie .....Production Company (Holland), La Sept Cinema .....Production Company, Swedish Television Drama .....Production Company, Media Investment Club .....Production Company, Nordic Film & Tv Fund .....Production Company, Vpro .....Production Company, Danish Film Institute (Dfi) .....Production Company, Swedish Film Institute .....Production Company, Norwegian Film Institute (Nfi) .....Production Company, Netherlands Film Fund .....Production Company, Finnish Film Foundation .....Production Company, Eurimages .....Production Company, European Script Fund .....Production Company, StudioCanal .....Production Company, Icelandic Film Corporation .....Production Company, Lucky Red .....Production Company, October Films .....Production Company, Tv 1000 .....Production Company, Villealfa Filmproductions Oy .....Production Company, Yle - Finnish Broadcasting Company .....Production Company, Zdf/Arte .....Production Company, Lange-Moller Catering Aps .....Production Company, Mainstream Productions .....Production Company, Manipulation .....Production Company, Corbett & Keene .....Production Company, Film Finances, Inc. .....Production Company, Sedgwick A/S .....Production Company, Eclair Laboratoires .....Production Company, Ex Camera .....Production Company, Scale/Strategics .....Production Company, Danish Broadcasting Corporation .....Production Company, Golem Distribution .....Theatrical Distributor, Triangelfilm .....Theatrical Distributor, Pandora Film Produktion .....Theatrical Distributor, Lucky Red .....Theatrical Distributor, Det Danske Filmstudie .....Studio, Foxguild .....Video Distributor (Video-Uk), Jens Georg Hansen .....Insurance Services Provider (Sedgwick A/S), October Films .....Domestic Theatrical Distributor, Argus Entertainment .....Foreign Theatrical Distributor, Triangle Entertainment .....Foreign Theatrical Distributor, Alternative Films .....Foreign Theatrical Distributor, Les Films Du Losange .....Foreign Theatrical Distributor, Monopole Pathe Films Ag .....Foreign Theatrical Distributor, Christa Saredi World Sales .....Foreign Distribution Sales, Evergreen Entertainment .....Domestic Video Distributor, Cobo Fund .....Financier
Duration(mins):  Country:  Denmark (DK)

Leonard Maltin Ratings & Review



User Ratings & Review

This title has not been reviewed. Be the FIRST to write a review by CLICKING HERE >

User Ratings & Review

User Reviews:

  • Recommend:

  • Cinema History:

  • Cinematography:

  • Lead Performers:

  • Supporting Cast:

  • Director:

  • Screen Play:

  • Music Score:

  • Title Sequence:

User Ratings:

  • Breaking the Waves (1996)

    Jay Higgins 2009-08-30

    Emotionally, the film is devastating, and it is certainly not a cheery movie. The performances are rich and deep, Emily Watson is amazing. I was a bit... MORE>