The Outlaw and His Wife

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru
Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru 1918 film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byVictor Sjöström
Produced byCharles Magnusson
Written byScreenplay:
Victor Sjöström
Sam Ask
Jóhann Sigurjónsson
StarringVictor Sjöström
Edith Erastoff
CinematographyJulius Jaenzon
Release date
  • 1 January 1918 (1918-01-01)
Running time
73 min.
LanguageSilent film

The Outlaw and His Wife (Swedish: Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru) is a 1918 Swedish silent film directed by Victor Sjöström, based on a play from 1911 by Jóhann Sigurjónsson.[1] It tells the story of Eyvind of the Hills, an 18th-century Icelandic outlaw.

The film was groundbreaking for its portrayal of wild nature. It was shot in two sessions in the spring and late summer 1917, with Åre and Abisko in northern Sweden acting as the highlands of Iceland.[2]


A stranger who calls himself 'Kari' comes to a farm in the north country. He hires on as a laborer, and the widowed farm owner Halla becomes infatuated with him. The local bailiff, who wants to marry Halla, becomes jealous of Kari. Another man tells the bailiff that 'Kari' is in fact a thief and fugitive escapee named Eyvind. Kari at first denies being Eyvind and then defeats the bailiff in a wrestling contest as measure of his sincerity. However, when Halla proposes marriage he confesses the truth of what happened in his earlier impoverished life as Eyvind.

When the bailiff returns with others to arrest Eyvind, he and Halla abandon the farm for the bare, cold highlands where they live for many happy years. They have a baby girl and are accompanied by their friend Arnes.

However, around when the girl is three, Arnes confesses his loneliness and love for Halla. Halla does not share his feelings, and he decides to leave them. As he is walking away, he sees a group of men approaching and runs back to warn Eyvind and Halla. The men arrive at the same time and a fight ensues. In fear of capture Halla throws her child off the cliff into the river below.

Eyvind and Halla escape into the hostile winter. Some time later they are holed up in a small cabin with no food. They are crazed with hunger. Eyvind considers abandoning Halla but does not. When Eyvind goes for firewood, Halla wanders out of the cabin and freezes in the snow. Eyvind finds her and holds her until he has died frozen by her side.



  1. ^ "Progressive Silent Film List: The Outlaw and His Wife". Silent Era. Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-25.
  2. ^ Comment and summary (in Swedish) at the Swedish Film Institute

External links[edit]