8.0/10
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Dancer in the Dark (2000)

An east European girl goes to America with her young son, expecting it to be like a Hollywood film.

Director:

(as Lars Von Trier)

Writer:

(as Lars Von Trier)
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3,507 ( 170)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 33 wins & 46 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Linda Houston
Vladica Kostic ...
Gene Jezkova
...
Norman
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Samuel
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Brenda (as Siobhan Fallon)
...
District Attorney
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...
Morty
Reathel Bean ...
Judge
Mette Berggreen ...
Receptionist
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Storyline

1964 in small town Washington state. Selma Jezková, a Czechoslovakian immigrant, and her preteen son Gene live in a rented trailer owned by and on the property of married Bill and Linda Houston, he the town sheriff. Beyond Bill and Linda, Selma has a small group of friends who look out for her, including her primary confidante, Kathy, with who she works, and Jeff who wants to be her boyfriend. Jeff regularly waits outside Selma's workplace long before the end of her shift to drive her home, despite she always refusing in not wanting to lead him on. Her primary job is working on the Anderson Tool factory assembly line, but she does whatever she can to earn money. What only Kathy knows among Selma's friends is that she is slowly going blind, her medical condition being genetic. Selma is barely able to see, just enough to do her job. Her primary reason for moving to the US and for working all the time is to earn enough money for an operation for Gene when he turns thirteen, he who ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You don't need eyes to see. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Musical

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

6 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bailando en la oscuridad  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$63,858 (Norway) (8 September 2000)

Gross:

$4,157,491 (USA) (15 December 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lars von Trier originally cast himself as the angry man who chastises Selma and Cathy in the movie theater. However, due to the contentious on-set relationship between himself and Björk, he feared that he might end up losing control and overacting, so the part went to Michael Flessas instead. See more »

Goofs

When Bill's police-issue pistol is first seen, it is a revolver (likely a .38 snub). However, when we see his gun again later in the film, it is a semi-automatic M1911, which is not a revolver. While both types of weapons were used by the police of the time, Bill is only mentioned as having one pistol, his standard-issue one from the police force, and is never mentioned as having two handguns. See more »

Quotes

Selma: In a musical, nothing dreadful ever happens.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Brows Held High: Antichrist (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Musicals, Part 1
Written by Björk, Mark Bell, Sjón Sigurdsson & Lars von Trier
Performed by Björk
Arranged by Björk & Vincent Mendoza
Orchestrated & Conducted by Vincent Mendoza
Produced by Björk & Mark Bell
Mixed by Mark Stent (as Mark "Spike" Stent)
Published by Universal Music, Warp/EMI Music & Copyright Control
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Movie To Break Your Heart
23 August 2000 | by (Helsinki, Finland) – See all my reviews

It feels awkward to attempt to put Dancer in the Dark into words. Von Trier's film is one of those movies that truly change the way we think about cinema and its possibilities, and for such a film, words do no justice. Dancer in the Dark centers around Selma (Björk), a factory worker, who loves her 10-year-old son above everything else in the world. Selma is a happy, innocent creature who enjoys musicals for "nothing bad ever happens in them". These elements (mother's love for her son, joyfulness of musicals versus the hardships of every day life) create a whole unlike anything ever seen on silver screen. Selma is rapidly losing her eye sight, but not her vision: she's the 'dancer in the dark' who is prepared to sacrifice herself to keep the light in her child's eyes. Very early on it becomes obvious that this story can't have a happy ending. However, once you've accepted it, you can put your mind at ease and see the film as it unfolds from Selma's point of view. And what a view it is! Björk gives a performance of a life time - this little woman with a huge voice is all emotion all the time without ever appearing overtly dramatic or cheaply sentimental. There's no weak link in the rest of the cast either, Peter Stormare as Jeff, Catherine Deneuve as Kathy and Siobhan Fallon as the prison guard to name but a few. The biggest star is still the director himself; von Trier demonstrates his talent in a superb fashion by both telling a simple story that will most likely break you heart and examining the ever-persistent ills of the life of the lower class of the American society. What about the film's musical character then? This is where von Trier triumphs the most by understanding the very essence of the whole genre - hope; hope that will live in our soul for ever if we'll only follow our heart.


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