Nightwatch (1994 film)

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Danish film poster
Directed by Ole Bornedal
Produced by Michael Obel
Written by Ole Bornedal
Starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Sofie Gråbøl
Kim Bodnia
Lotte Andersen
Ulf Pilgaard
Music by Joachim Holbek
Cinematography Dan Laustsen
Edited by Camilla Skousen
Thura Film
Release dates
  • February 25, 1994 (1994-02-25) (Denmark)
Running time
104 minutes
Country Denmark
Language Danish

Nightwatch (Danish: Nattevagten) is a 1994 Danish thriller film directed and written by Danish director Ole Bornedal. The film involves Martin (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) who gets a student job as night watchman at the Forensic Medicine Institute. When making his rounds he finds he must go to where the deceased people are kept. At the same time, a series of murders occur among women in Copenhagen as well as mysterious and unexplained things happening in the medical department.[1]

Nightwatch was a success in Denmark and was shown at the Fantafestival in 1995. An American remake of the film which was also directed by Bornedal, was released in 1997. The original Nightwatch was included on a list of the top 100 Danish film as chosen by Kosmorama.



Director Ole Bornedal began writing the script for Nightwatch after the release of his television film Masturbator (1993).[2][3]



The film was released on February 25, 1994.[4] Nightwatch was a success in Denmark where it sold 465,529 tickets.[5] The film was shown at the 1995 Fantafestival in Rome, Italy.[6] The film was selected to be part of the 1994 Critic's Week at the Cannes Film Festival.[7]

A DVD of Nightwatch was released by Anchor Bay on May 29, 2001. The disc contains an audio commentary by Ole Bornedal and a theatrical trailer for the film.[8]


Ole Bornedal felt that Nightwatch was not "a great work of art, but it did help legitimate the idea that even European film art can make good use of generic stories."[9] Nightwatch was included on a list of the top 100 Danish film as chosen by Kosmorama.[10] Rikke Louise Andersson won the award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Joyce in the film at the 1995 Bodil Awards.[11] Variety gave the film a fairly favorable review, referring to it as a "slickly made but fairly conventional tale"[12]


An American remake of the film was also titled Nightwatch and was released in 1997. Ole Bornedal directed this English-language remake, but director Steven Soderbergh wrote a new script based on Bornedal's original film.[13]


  1. ^ Tobey, Matthew. "Nightwatch". Allrovi. Retrieved January 5, 2012. 
  2. ^ Hjort, 2003. p. 229
  3. ^ Hjort, 2003. p. 231
  4. ^ "Nattevagten". The Danish Film Institute (in Danish). Retrieved January 5, 2012. 
  5. ^ Hjort, 2003. p. 235
  6. ^ "15° Fantafestival – 1995". Fantafestival (in Italian). Retrieved January 5, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Cannes Critics' Week names pic selections". Variety. April 21, 1994. Retrieved January 5, 2012. 
  8. ^ Buchanan, Jason. "Nightwatch - DVD". Allrovi. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  9. ^ Hjort, 2003. p. 234
  10. ^ "Dansk Spillefilm Top 100". The Danish Film Institute (in Danish). Retrieved January 5, 2012. 
  11. ^ "1995". Bodil Awards (in Danish). Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  12. ^ Nesselson, Lisa (May 29, 1994). "Nightwatch". Variety. Retrieved January 5, 2012. 
  13. ^ Stewart, Bhob. "Nightwatch". Allrovi. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 


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