Rasmus Breistein

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Rasmus Breistein (November 16, 1890 – October 16, 1976) was a Norwegian film director.[1][2]


Breistein was born in Åsane in the city of Bergen in Hordaland county, Norway.[3] He was a farmer's son and learned to play fiddle in his youth, playing for dances at weddings in Western Norway.[4] Later in life, in addition to directing films, he also performed on the Hardanger fiddle.[5]

When the Norwegian Theater opened in 1913, he started acting at the theater. He became engaged with the new medium of film after seeing Peter Lykke-Seest's productions, and he decided to produce films in a completely different way. His first film was Fante-Anne (Gypsy Anne, 1920).[1][4] In an interview he stated that "the film was the beginning of something, a Norwegian production with a more national character."[6] This marked the beginning of the Norwegian heyday of the silent film age.

Breistein is considered the most important Norwegian filmmaker of the silent film era. During the period known as the "national breakthrough" in Norwegian film (1920–1930), he directed five feature films: Fante-Anne (Gypsy Anne, 1920),[7] Felix (1921),[8] Jomfru Trofast (Miss Faithful, 1921),[9] Brudeferden i Hardanger (The Bridal Procession in Hardanger, 1926),[10] and Kristine Valdresdatter (1930).[11] With these films, he challenged Swedish films' former position of power and pleased both critics and audiences.

After audio films were invented, Breistein solidified his reputation as a director of the popular films Ungen (The Child, 1938)[12] and Trysil-Knut (Knut from Trysil, 1942).[13] The documentary films Jorden rundt på to timer (Around the World in Two Hours, 1949)[14] and Tirich Mir til topps (To the Top of Tirich Mir, 1952)[15] are classics in the history of Norwegian documentary film.

He died in Hollywood,[4] and his urn was brought to Norway and placed in Bryn Church in Bærum.[4]

Films directed[edit]



  1. ^ a b Sundholm, John et al. Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Cinema. Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press, p. 88.
  2. ^ "Norwegian Film Will Be Shown Here Sunday". The Bend Bulletin. March 31, 1937. p. 1. Retrieved January 22, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  3. ^ Store norske leksikon: Rasmus Breistein.
  4. ^ a b c d Norsk biografisk leksikon: Rasmus Breistein.
  5. ^ "The Bridal Party in Hardanger". The Montana Standard. February 16, 1929. p. 6. Retrieved January 22, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  6. ^ Norsk filmhistorie 1920–1930 bonde- og nasjonalromantikken.
  7. ^ Gypsy Anne at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  8. ^ Felix at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  9. ^ Jomfru Trofast at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  10. ^ Brudeferden i Hardanger at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  11. ^ Kristine Valdresdatter at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  12. ^ Ungen at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  13. ^ Trysil-Knut at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  14. ^ Jorden rundt på to timer at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  15. ^ Tirich Mir til topps at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata

External links[edit]