User Reviews (36)

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  • davidweiss-801377 June 2015
    I am 59 and I can be a hard critic but this was one of the greatest dramas I have ever seen.

    The production, story, acting are all outstanding. Some people may not like the anti war sentiment. Yet this drama achieves the rare thing of managing to convey powerfully both the reasons why politicians can lead us to war and the horrors that then shatter the lives of those families who fall victims to it.

    I have rarely been so moved by a drama. It has tragedy, pain, humour, humanity and above all it gives a us hope - Despite death, life must go on and we owe it to the those who have fallen to live it to the fullest.

    If you decide watch this drama till the very end you may be lucky and feel as enriched as I did.
  • This show is riveting. The production values, cinematography, acting, script and period setting are all excellent. The build up to the 2nd war between Denmark and Prussia from 1851 through to 1883 is done really well with excellent character development - from children to men joining the army. I'm not sure why other users have given this show such low ratings I don't think it deserves them at at all. The link to modern day Denmark does work and does make sense - at least to me. Some people have commented that all the leaders are portrayed as crazy and the ordinary people just lambs to the slaughter. At least one of the key members of parliament (and a Bishop) admits to being a bit mad and comes from a family that has insanity in it. He's used by those who wish to pursue the land claim against Prussia. I think the political machinations shown are probably pretty accurate for the time the show is set. Bismark is actually shocked at the actions of the Danes. Anyway, I would thoroughly recommend this show, give it some time and patience and you will be rewarded.
  • Some of the negative criticism of the series is wide of the mark. The series had me hooked right from the outset. It is lyrical, well-paced story-telling, focussing on character and ideas. There are no caricatures here. The political ideas are played out through the interactions of an excellent ensemble cast, including most of the faces we have come to love in Nordic Noir. The split time sequence shows how the past influences and shapes the present and how people here and now can learn from their past. There is a joy and élan about the epic's opening which prepares us for the shock and disillusion of war. I have only seen two episodes so far, but it has me hooked. Viva Scandinavia.
  • mkivi7511 March 2015
    Series shows very well how some agitators can create too much national feeling and guide people to think "we deserve what others have". Some things reminded me much of 3rd Reich too which happened laters in Germany and what is also sadly happening in Russia today.

    Pictures greatly how common people pay the highest price when things escalate to madness like war. Its common today and mostly by US made films to raise war to something "heroic" and "glorious" where individuals just keep going and going like nothing touches them really. which is total bullshit.

    There is ongoing try to wipe the past we people have had with wars in this world.

    And when reading others comments people are too used to see those war glorifying movies which is supported at least US war industries and government. Guess you need some life experience to see thru all current "propaganda" that is happening.

    Overall, nice acting and feeling in movie which you see rarely today unfortunately.

    Hope Danes make more series like this. :)
  • An epic drama about one of the most crucial events shaping modern Denmark (or rather cutting away 1/3 of the nation, Schleswig-Holstein, mainly German speaking). Fantastic sound, picture (remarkable use of different weather conditions) and epic, "beautyfull" (hmmm....can one say that?) very realistic battle scenes, the best ever made in European movies i believe. Thats the 5 of the 6 stars. Storyline and acting is confusing though. The overplay and "over"-telling the message "war is bad, all generals and politicians are nationalists / more or less cold at heart or even bordering to crazy, and all the soldiers are victims"..... This simply ruins the series. Nationalism and war is much more complex than that and Bornedal fails to tell this story....even though he had a whole candy box of opportunities. He could have chosen a Danish minority family in German Holstein or a German minority family in Danish majority area Schleswig. Or why not the Swedish connection (the "nationalist awakening" of being Scandinavian brothers happened in this century after Sweden, Norway and Denmark had fought each other for over 1000 years), so this brotherhood that now stands for the Scandinavian soul today almost made the Swedish king deploy 15000 troops to Denmark to fight Prussia in this war. Or why not a Polish family living in exile in Denmark. Poland (a Danish Neighbor)disappeared from the map (about 120 years) in 1795 after roughly 1000 years of existence, divided by the big powers of Europe. Denmark was also afraid of simply to disappear, one reason for this war in 1864. These stories could very well describe the complexity of nationalism: identity, fear, hope, pride, community, cultural tradition and identity, language etc. Nationalism is not only Adolf H. and other idiots. Bornedal choice as side stories then: A Roma (Gypsy) family (????) and a healing Harry Potter that can do Hypnosis and see into the future.....WHAT THE F....happened.....Some errors in the historical facts is OK (Colonel Max Müller was not at all at Dybbøl and so on)...and the main characters are fine.....but failing to grab some of the most obvious good side stories and replace them with irrelevant and clairvoyant crap is nothing more but a big time failure from Bornedal....sadly....loosing the obvious opportunity to depict the complexity and horror of war and national identity, instead making it halfway a 70-hippie "all politicians are bad" story. This is a big big shame..... therefore only max. 6 stars (could have been 10 with that fantastic and historically spot-on scenery). We lost the war and now also the series about it.....Lets hope the movie version will cut out the "noice" of this series.......and bring the epic beautiful drama it could be.....
  • poulpkn27 November 2014
    This movie has been one of the most expected series in Danish television ever. And there are very different opinions about it. Let me try to mention the components that makes this a series you wont forget so easily, and why I think it is a masterpiece. The photography is brilliant, the costumes and makeup are great and the set is amazing. And the music score by Marco Beltrami is over the top. The actors are excellent, both the children, and the rest of the cast. The series is built up, not with a story that end with a climax in each part of the series, but as a long movie, and this is hard for some viewers to understand. For dramatic reasons some incidents and persons are not totally described as they were historically. But the story certainly hit you emotionally. The scenes from the battle is comparable to Omaha Beach in "saving Private Ryan". Think also "Barry Lyndon" and "1900" and you will have some hint on what it is all about. I loved it, and i am curious how Ole Bornedal will cut the series into a Cinema movie.
  • It is fascinating, and maybe instructive, to see how non- Scandinavian/Danish reviewers tend to give this series several stars more those for whom the series was made.

    For a non-Dane who had never heard about this... well, let's be honest, footnote in European history, I found it very brilliant. Not for me concerns about historical accuracy or whether this general was actually where he was shown to be. Like I care, to be honest. What I got was a multi-pronged love story, some political intrigue, villains who were as black as they dressed, and - as others have said - battle scenes are quite simply some of the best I have ever seen. Breathtaking, terrifying, stunning.

    Yet again Denmark is made to look ravishing by the Danish production team. I mean, wow, is this an amazing looking country or what? My list of "places to visit in Denmark" grew with every episode.

    However it was at times confusing and on several occasions I was running for a map - and come to that the Wikipedia pages about the war - just to try to work on what the heck was going on. And it has to be said that the villains really were over the top villains (though maybe the Prime Minister really was this barking?). And at times I mistook Danes for Germans, because both were subtitled identically (and Danish and German sound quite alike). And it was not quite sure that the framing with the modern day pair really worked - it was just too predictable and unoriginal and really no needed. So this was not perfect, but its was still very good.

    And it was great to see most of the cast of "Borgen" turn up again, slightly more odd to see at least one of the main locations turn up too - but I guess they only have so many places they can use.

    Overall - another hit from Danish TV. How do they do it?
  • Let me start off by saying that I think 1864 is a beautifully filmed series with several solid performances and a lot of work put into creating the scenery, props and costuming. That being said, it's saddled with a pretty lukewarm script. There were lots of places Bornedal could have gone with this piece of history, and at times one is confused as to why he made some of the choices he did. One of the most common complaints is the present-day connection, which does feel unnecessary at times, but what's far worse are the absolutely out-of-the-blue supernatural elements which pop up toward the middle of the series and add nothing to the story but a thoroughly shattered suspense of disbelief. Beyond that bit, I found the series to be reasonably historical. Not a documentary, mind you, but as faithful as could be reasonably expected. The other problem with the series is that it occasionally lays on the melodrama too thick, sometimes almost comically so.

    TL;DR- Despite the the writing problems, I found myself captivated by this shiny, sometimes stupid period drama. (also, ep. 7 contains one of the most epic battle sequences I've seen in a long time, so there's that.)

    **If you're reading this in another country, you ought to know that many ratings and reviews of this series are highly politically charged. Some liberals hate it outright because it received so much public funding, and the Danish Peoples Party hates it for its (justifiably) negative depiction of extreme nationalism and its consequences.
  • So far i have only seen the first episode. Furthermore, as i am not danish this part of history is pretty much unknown to me.

    The start of the movie was really great, although some of the scenes involving children were pretty disturbing.

    This however portrays deep characters and while the first episode lacked in action it is obviously meant to develop the characters so that the viewers become emotionally attached to them, which is not a bad thing. It is interesting, unlike Hollywood movies where you are guaranteed to see drama, action and gore in the first 15 minutes, this movie takes it time. The acting is superb, and the way the story is told and how the characters are affected by events, is really amazing.

    Im guessing this series is about characters growing up, about their good times, about their bad times, and about the effects of war, tearing up families and ending lives prematurely.

    Together with the big budget, the production quality and story telling that actually focuses on the characters instead of gore and action, this could be one hell of a ride! Looking forward to seeing the rest. I do hope however that they leave out the vulgar things involving children, shock value or not, it is pretty distasteful in what is otherwise looking up to be one of the better series i have seen in a while.
  • If you have a flair for European historical stuff, you should like this series. Background is the conflict between the then German Confederation/ Prussia and Denmark around 1860, that eventually led to a war where the already small Denmark lost a good portion of its territory. A part of which however was restituted after WW1 & Versailles after a plebiscite.

    An impressive series. Well shot, with excellent representation of costumes and uniforms and the gear of these times. With a lot of themes built in, national pride, political (misled) ambitions, overestimation of the own capabilities, some love, a portrait of the political, aristocrats and peasantry classes, even some supernatural parts. I have seen only few of the actors playing in the series before, in general they deliver a decent acting, not much to criticize IMO. The actor delivering the remarkable character of Monrad is to point out for his impressive performance.

    The series was ordered by the danish state I think in occasion of the 150 years anniversary of the events and delivers a fair view of the events. No glorifying nationalistic BS, but a sensible portrait of the era. You might want to read the article about the conflict in wiki first however, to get the hole background of that part of the history.

    A solid production, history aficionados won't be disappointed. There has been been the usual criticism about the historical accuracy, but I wouldn't mind. There was portrayed nothing wrong in the wider scheme of the history. It seems that for this kind of "historical" series there are always accuracy pedants jumping out, while they still don't get that it is just a TV-show with aspiration to entertain, where some artistic freedom must be given, and not a documentary.
  • In 1864, Denmark launched what seems in retrospect an inexplicable war of national expansion. It ended in ignominious defeat at the hands of Bismark's Prussian army. '1864' attempts to tell the story of this war, and is both a personal tale centred on a number of its protagonists, and perhaps also, a story of the eventual birth of the Denmark we know today, the peaceful modern social democracy that eventually superseded the nationalist pretensions of the 19th century. There's been a lot of Danish drama released internationally in recent years, but it's a small country, and fans of other Danish series will recognise a huge proportion of the cast in this one. But sadly, '1864' does not live up to the standards of 'The Killing' or 'Borgen'. It's slow, ponderous, repetitive, obvious and the attempt to wrap up the 19th century story in a contemporary wrapping further reduces the immediacy of the drama. The budget for battle scenes, meanwhile, seems to have been spent entirely in episode 7, which is impressive in itself, but the rest of the episodes speak of war without actually showing it very much. And we never really understand just how the Danish politicians thought that the war could actually be won. Outside of Denmark, the war of 1864 is a little known quirk of European history; I'd be interested to know more, but in spite of its 8 hour duration, I finished this drama still frustratingly uninformed.
  • This is one of the most anticipated TV shows in modern danish television.

    I was looking forward to a wartime drama, about one of the most important moments in Danish national history. This was the moment that we lost 30% of the country, and yet - all I see here is a horrible attempt of making the moment digestible for the masses.

    The pictures are wonderful and beautiful, but this far from makes up for the horrible acting and pointless shots of masturbation or bestiality. The jumps back and fort to present time is also a totally gimmicky tool, to chain the loss of danish lives in Afghanistan to the big loss we suffered in 1864.

    I could be without it, and I am sad that I have to give up this TV- shot even before its really begun, but the acting made me sick - and I think I am better off just watching another episode of New Girl.
  • mrdigidane13 October 2014
    I like the premise of this show, and I cant wait to get to the point which was the bloodiest battle in the history of Denmark, I think this first episode was fair in introducing us to future key players of the series, I am not a big fan of the voice over tactics but I await next weeks episode with great anticipation.

    I have to say that there are a few scenes I could have been without though, you know what I am talking about if you watch it, I am sure of it.

    It is also special to me because I was born in Denmark and I have been to the mill and the battlefield many times in my life, there is a eerie feeling when you are there, you can feel that something really bad took place.
  • Outstanding, magical visual, story-telling. Compelling from start to finish. Ignore the pompous reviews about the contemporary story-line, dialogue, magic-realism and apparent historical simplification. It's nonsense. This is cinematic excellence and as powerful as the best Thomas Hardy adaptations or a series like the original Brideshead Revisited. The battle-scenes are as visceral and powerful as those in Saving Private Ryan or Downfall. The political landscape that precipitated the war is carefully set-out for those of us that had never previously come across this element of nineteenth century European history but never at the cost of engaging with the emotional depth of the piece. The characters are given time to develop and have real depth. Brilliantly directed. Immerse yourself.
  • DennisLaursen895 November 2014
    I love history. And history movies and TV-series fascinating me, if they are proper made. But that is not the case for 1864. The TV-series are not finish at this moment, but after the fourth episode, I lost patience for this TV show. The characters are so caricatured, that it mostly looks like a Hans Scherfig film adaptation. The story develops too slowly. There are too many loves scenes (and the sodomy scene is just irrelevant for the story, at seems rather as a attempt to provoke the PC's), that it becomes trivial.

    During the show, we are jumping back and forth towards past and present. And there seems to be no attempt to connect these, and it seems irrelevant for the story, too.

    1864 promised well, before it was launched. And the scenery are quite pretty. But all in all, 1864 is just too poor.

    In one wants to see a Danish historical TV-drama, I would rather recommend "Gøngehøvdingen" from 1992.
  • Having defeated them in 1851, the Danish government believed they could take the Prussians on again in the year that titles this. It was about Slesvig-Holstein, a province which both countries felt belonged to them – well, *we* wanted it, rather(a document from the Middle Ages declared that the two would never be split - following old texts verbatim can go horribly wrong), they didn't care, albeit Bismarck did see it as a way to unite Germany, it having been in disarray ever since the collapse of the Roman Empire – in fact, their late arrival to the table of imperialism was part of their bid to increase their lebensraum, through impassioned speeches, deceitful promises of peace. Nationalism went to everyone's heads, and, spoiler alert, it was our greatest loss, and last time we fought to conquer land, it humbled us greatly to lose as much as we did. 5000 dead, at least as many handicapped. 2/5ths of Denmark, and 1 million citizens(leaving us with 1,7), lost to the victors. It is an important part of our history, that of Scandinavia, and to an extent, that of Europe. I urge you to read about it. Because you sure won't find out very much about it here.

    Instead, we have this complex, confusing situation(referred, both ironically and truthfully, as "a mere three people understand. One is dead. Another is insane. The third is me… and I've forgotten.") boiled down to "Heiberg the theatre's temptress manipulated Monrad the Council President into a lost cause that the applauding Copenhagen upper class never saw as anything but a fiction that would prove our superiority". That is one of the two notes this knows how to play. The other is "war is awful", which, at least, is a message that is always worthwhile to spread. These are both played on repeat. Over and over. Well, you have to fill those 8 hours with *something*.

    It's baffling that this is all it can come up with, since it's so eager to throw dozens of characters at us, to the point where we forget who, what, where, and most of all, *why* anyone in this is. At least about a third of them are proved to have lived back then, so, hey, they did crack open a book(a lot of the time, proving this seems to be the reason they're put before us… certainly, replacing them with text describing what happened here, or showing the physical reality it caused or affected would have been greatly appreciated). Broadly drawn, these all serve as archetypes(at least we do get some welcome ones, such as the several strong women, a staple around here… off the screen, too) and mouthpieces. Oh, but if only they had something to say…! Why this didn't opt for sticking with the handful of regulars is beyond me.

    When they do not, they lose our patience, and evidently in a number of cases, our viewership. And then, they show us the truth of the old adage, 'be careful what you wish for'. When will the love triangle die? Can it be soon? Few stories require them, and in cases like this, they are a detriment. Once we realize that's where our two underdog brothers(the tough one and the smart, sensitive one… who are so one-note that they, early on, literally point this out to each other) and the higher-but-only-so-high-class girl are headed, our interest plummets faster than this leaps 12 years, with a thud and a groan. It only gets more banal from there, folks. Do not get me started on the numerous sudden, cringe-inducing lapses in the otherwise so carefully built and maintained realism. The first person to bring up the fantasy aspect gets smacked.

    I wanted to love this. So, so badly. I tsk-ed those who cried foul at even the start of this. Now, I shudder to think about that, and realize just how quickly some can tell a stinker when they see one. It didn't have to be this way. I swear, sneak in a skilled editor(one who lives by "you're not doing it right if there isn't blood on the floor", "kill your darlings", "less is more"), bring it down to half the length if that, I mean, if you remove the repetition and tedium alone, you're well on your way… there is quality here! There'd better be, at this price! And there is! This is as beautifully photographed, immaculately staged, authentically detailed in props, sets and costumes, expertly cut and phenomenally acted as the best international standards strive for. And it deserves to be freed from the muck it's buried in.

    The political intrigue, the social realism, the credible depiction of life back then, the interpersonal relationships, some of it is already here, some of it could be, had the resources been properly applied. Why Inge's obnoxious, overwrought narration, spelling out what we're looking at? Whose bright idea was the present day framing device? You know, the one that starts by calling every youth in the audience an inattentive, entitled idiot. Yes, the one that adds nothing other than frustration, that makes no sense on an even basic level(if everything we're watching is being read from this one woman's letters… what about the countless events she not only doesn't witness, but would never be accurately, even honestly, recounted to her?). Whoever recuts Dinesen's scenes into the badass action-thriller they're clearly made for should be awarded a medal.

    All 8 episodes run one hour each, not counting commercials or credits. There is a lot of brutal, violent, disturbing content, sexuality and nudity in this. I'm not sure who is more to blame for the wails of 'what about the children'… those who chose to air it 8 in the evening or anyone tuning into something depicting the bloody battle with the kids right there beside them. I recommend this to anyone compelled to watch train crashes, and those who enjoy mentally rearranging what they watch. 5/10
  • I'm one of those people that don't enjoy overt manipulation - and I prefer a balanced approach when it comes to portraying characters and I need a plausible setup, before I can invest myself in what happens on screen.

    I do enjoy experiencing something significant and then being allowed to think for myself, when reflecting upon what I've been exposed to. In this case, it's a TV series that certainly could have been significant, even profound.

    Sadly, the only profound thing about it is how blatant it is in its absurd treatment of human beings and supposedly historical events involving these cartoon characters.

    The budget is huge for a Danish production, and the good news is that it shows. It's remarkably well-crafted in terms of aesthetics. It looks and sounds fantastic - and you can clearly see where Bornedal excels in that way.

    He's an excellent director when it comes to setting up a scene or how to create an emotionally powerful moment, using slow motion and the appropriate music. He's also capable of extracting a lot of raw feeling from his actors. In fact, he must be so good at this, that they forget how to turn it off again, and to behave like plausible people.

    As such, the problem is that he doesn't seem to understand the economy of emotions and the impact they can have if handled with less spelling them out, and more letting them build over time without even talking about them.

    This was evident in "I am Dina" - and it's even more evident now, considering the change in material, which should have been treated with more subtlety.

    You DO NOT evoke a more powerful response through oversaturation. Instead, you evoke fatigue. Real human beings don't emote with such power with every sentence they speak - and we don't actually spout commanding exposition for each moment that passes by.

    Sometimes, less really IS more - and you don't have to use a sledgehammer to make pain clear to the audience.

    Personally, I don't understand why you'd take on a historically significant event such as this war - if you're not going to treat the people involved with respect. If you're going to talk about something that actually happened, then please start out by understanding something about human nature when depicting the key people involved.

    People don't reside in little boxes called "good" and "evil". We're a bit more complex than that.

    Monrad being borderline retarded, crawling around naked on the floor - and his "muse" being this completely powermad evil witch hypnotizing him into submission is a bit much, no? As far as I know, there's absolutely nothing in history about Heiberg to suggest she was anything like that. If you want a character to serve your cartoon version of reality - at least use a fictional person.

    So, how about taking a deep breath and attempt a bit of slight subtlety next time. It might actually work better. Did we really need to see theater-blood on his hands when war had been declared? Are we THAT incapable of seeing what's going on, Bornedal?

    Didrich? Is there a single moment in the series where his eyes aren't flooded with tears of pain - and does he ever cast a look at another person that isn't full of burning jealousy and hatred?

    Treating your audience with that kind of hand-holding simply isn't necessary.

    The less said about telepathic lover communication and hypnotic veteran soldiers, the better.

    As for the actual historical events, I can't speak about them in a very informed way. I simply don't know enough about this war. I can only hope they've researched them a bit more than they've researched real human beings.

    But since the people involved clearly aren't being depicted as real people - I have to wonder how much of the events being shown is useful in terms of relaying historical fact.

    But then again, this is just entertainment right? It's the American standard of using real history as "inspiration" and that's good enough, right?

    Wrong. Not to me, anyway.

    If you use a real event this important, please treat it with some respect for the facts.

    Otherwise, make something up and be clear about wanting to entertain rather than inform. As in, don't make it about a real war and pretend that the people involved are all caricatures from a fairy tale.

    Unfortunately, even as entertainment, this wouldn't work as anything but a farcical display of near-constant extreme human behavior.

    If you're a very young person looking to be told how to feel and to be grossly misinformed about human behavior, it's not bad - I guess. It's like a roller-coaster of emotional peaks and valleys if you can turn off your brain.

    It's clear that Bornedal is in complete denial-mode after the massive criticism this show has received on a national scale, and I can sympathise with him. But, as harsh as it might seem, there's a really good reason it hasn't been received very well.

    If you're an adult looking for something relevant to real life, steer clear.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In a nutshell this high budget TV series looks very nice (and the music is also decent) but the script is probably one of the worst in the history of Danish television.

    It turns out that the director (Ole Bornedal) fired not one, not two but THREE talented and successful scriptwriters from the production team and decided to write the script himself. Big mistake! Ole Bornedal later said that he considered himself among the very best dialogue writers IN THE WORLD. Well, if dialogue like "hi" - "hello" is the very best, then he is pretty good. But in any other world than the one of Bornedal's mind the dialogue is amateurish at best.

    To a native Danish speaker the lines themselves sound like the speech bubbles you used to make when you were drawing comic strips as a kid. I am not joking. After two of the main characters have had sex on the beach they stand up and scream "everything is awesome". And no, I am not kidding. The translator might choose to translate the line as "everything is splendid" but in any case it's bad. Really bad.

    Most of the actors are good actors but they end up looking like dilettantes at best. This is because of the lines and the incredibly shallow characters who can usually be described by one word (e.g. good/bad/mad/jovial). One character, Didrich (Pilou Asbæk), for instance is bad. He is the son of a nobleman and has participated in the previous war where he turned into a mean jerk. How does Bornedal demonstrate this? With any subtlety or nuances? No. He makes Didrich torture a gypsy, hit on a little girl, rape a gypsy woman, rape a cow with his rich friends etcetera. So basically to show that a character has flaws Bornedal makes that character a violent, pedophile rapist who is a fan of sex with animals. Apart from that he is of course cowardly, greedy and mean to the poor. On the other hand some characters are good. The gypsies for instance (even though they had absolutely no part in the actual history of the war or in the history of Denmark altogether) are of course wise, honest, merry healers who care about other people regardless of nationality or social standing. They are only involved in conflict when they are the victims and even then only one of them tries to get revenge (which of course fails so that they can still be the victims).

    Bornedal is either completely naive and amateurish or else he is trying to create some sort of dimwitted political propaganda with this TV series. Since 1864 is a story of war between nations, politics of course is a theme of the series. But in interviews Bornedal has also expressed his personal opinion on the politics of today. So some people have compared his opinion to his 1864 script, and the result does not look good. It seems like Bornedal's personal Marxist, anti patriotic and pro immigration / multi culture views have put a HUGE fingerprint on the script. But who knows? Maybe it's just a coincidence that the poor people and the immigrants of 1864 are perfectly good while the Danish middle and upper class people of 1864 are all corrupt. Maybe it's a coincidence that Inge (Marie Søderberg) who is the narrator has lines like "they come with their dark eyes and enrich our world" (about the gypsies). Maybe it's a coincidence that we are told no background story for the war which is simply portrayed like the absurd idea of mad nationalists (which is absolutely historically incorrect). Maybe it's all just a coincidence. But in any case the result is a train wreck. Please go see some other Danish TV series for comparison: They are usually very nuanced, intelligent and multi layered. This series is a demonstration of what happens when an arrogant director fires the entire scriptwriting team. It is one of the most amateurish and one dimensional scripts in television history.

    And I won't even go into the silliness of the character Johan who turns out to be a telepath/hypnotist/voodoo doctor. Nor will I go into the LOTR like scenes of this so-called historical drama. All that is beyond bad.

    Did I mention that this is the highest budget Danish TV series ever? The budget was 175 million DKR ($30 million) which is huge compared to other Danish TV series.

    One word: Bad.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I cannot recommend this series highly enough... I found it excellent in every aspect: the writing, directing, photography, acting, the music score. It is deeply moving and brought me to tears in several moments.

    As a period piece it has no rival; it is head and shoulders above any other historical series in TV. It is certainly of much better artistic quality than The Tudors, Rome, and The Vikings series, for instance. It is actually difficult to compare with anything else ever made for TV.

    It is a series for adults, treating serious themes seriously, and with powerful messages about the stupidity and horrors of war, and the delusions and vanity of politicians; though it is set in Denmark, Germany and the UK in the 1850's and 1860's, most of it applies to situations in the US and Europe in the beginning of the 21st Century: it is a real masterpiece.

    I really find it hard to understand why some people gave it a low rating... Perhaps it was too profound, too serious, too disturbing? It's certainly not a popcorn & soda production to help you escape reality: it is more a wake-up call to escape escapism. The war scenes were indeed realistic and horrible as real war is; no adolescent glorification of combat. Indeed, the series denounces the naivety of young people joyfully marching off into war as if it were a picnic, and then being scarred by it forever.

    As for the alternation between past and present, I did not find it confusing; I found it gave the audience time for reflection and for making the very important connections between past and present, between history and present-day disenchantment, between millennials and a much older generation. I could easily see long debates going on about the messages the series conveys, addressing issues of personal and national identity, the roles of religious and political leaders, the meaning of heroism. You could easily have a whole graduate course organized around these 8 chapters.

    In the end, I was sad to see it finish; yet it was correctly proportioned from beginning till end. The last chapter was not rushed (which is often the case with made for TV productions) and it left me wishing all series were as good as this one.
  • I've been a IMDb regular for many years, though never had an account. That all changed, when I saw this series. It is, by far, and I've seen my fair share of movies, TV-shows etc. The worst I've ever seen, taken the major budget and high-class actors into account. A "historic" drama made by an artist (Ole Bornedal) who disregards all facts and creates his own reality. I lack words... I'm not sure if it's the horrid story, bad acting or the fact that it was supposed to be TV-show that explained what happened before, during and after 1864, and instead became fairytale created in Ole Bornedals mind. Or perhaps it's the fact that this flop is sponsered by tax-payers money.. 1 out of ten. Stay away from this flop..
  • stenfisker1 December 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    The bad stuff:

    1. Horrible dialog ! The entire host of characters seem like caricatures. 2. Boring side story. The recurring flash forward to 2014 is completely irrelevant and adds nothing to the production - a waste of time. 3. Worst manuscript ever - to spice up a rather generic main plot, a number of "weird" events occur: "soldier hypnotizes enemies to escape capture", "same soldier saves main protagonist's life by pulling out a piece of ice directly from protagonist's heart (with his bare hands) and then feeding it to him", "dumb girl suddenly regains speech, but has nothing to say" etc etc... 4. And finally - the director seems hellbent on proving his point of view: that war is a horrible thing and humans sometimes do bad things. This ambition is presented to the viewer in an extremely condescending manner. In other words, this could be all well and good if the production was aimed at children who are unfamiliar with these concepts, but of course it is not.

    The good stuff: Beautiful scenery, fantastic battle sequences and a pretty good soundtrack are the 3 only positive things I can mention about this production. This is why I give the production a "2"....
  • I thoroughly enjoyed this series and found it very moving. The 2 stories (21st century and 19th century), were intertwined beautifully and I learned much about a war and period of Danish history I knew little about. But mainly it was compelling storytelling! It also did well mixing the intimate story of people against the backdrop of the larger politics of the era. The characters were well rounded and real although of course some of them like Didrich and Inge's mother were not very admirable. The photography and music were beautiful and the battle scenes handled with great realism tempered with a poetic touch. I would have given it a 10 but there were a few loose ends (if I said what they were I would give too much away). I would highly recommend watching "1864"
  • Warning: Spoilers
    *Includes one or two spoilers.

    Even with an incredibly strong cast for a Danish drama, this show fails, and it's so cringe worthy I have decided to make an IMDb account just to share my disappointment with this series.

    The show is full of scenes and plot lines that have no importance, which is a shame, because it's budget has been huge and paid by taxpayers. It is also it's biggest problem.

    The shows spends more time on gypsies and harvesting than actually showing things that are interesting. The narrating plot line is a great example of this. Who cares about a teenage girl who can't find a job because she's lazy and would rather steal from an old man? Yet, this takes up around 30-40% of the show in the first two episodes.

    We get to see so much of the main characters' father in the first episode, and at the same time they failed to make me feel anything once he died in the second episode. It was predictable, and could have been made much better.

    The main characters who are 18-21 year old men, have lost their father at an early age and have joined the army. They have grown at an establishment that has beaten and forced them to work, yet as soon as the owner of the establishment wants them to join the army, they do it? I guess they had to, to keep the plot moving, but what a terribly written way to get them into the army.

    I was expecting something powerful from this series, yet i'm almost considering not watching the next episode. Comparing this to "The Pacific" and "Band of Brothers" that admittedly has much larger budgets, you can see how terribly they have done.

    Hoping for the best but expecting the worst.
  • Ole Bornedal and Danmarks Radio has made it their quest to make a fool out of Denmark and all of the Danes, by putting up this awful and anti-historical attempt to tell the story of the war of 1864.

    The story is out of synch with its time, and seems to be an attempt to preach modern morality and socialistic views into the past. People of great importance for Denmark is put up as maniacs, and the focus on taboo and sex i massive - especially cow-sex and children masturbating!

    The acting is awful beside the German actors who shows class!

    Avoid this series at all cost, it it simply not worth the time!

    Ole Bornedal who directed the series uses the national history of Denmark to tell an untrue story about the motives and reasons for war in the mid 1800s and by adding loads of sayings, slang's and modern speech and behavior the series becomes untrustworthy!
  • With all due respect for the effort and money put into this project:

    I really wish that I could love or at least like this series. If for no other reason, then because its the most expensive series ever made in Denmark, and payed for by the danish taxpayers.

    However for a number of reasons then this is impossible, as it falls short in several key areas.

    First and foremost then the characters seems as one-dimensional caricatures, and more specifically, then all those not portraying Mr. Bornedals political standpoint are portrayed as evil, unintelligent and/or mad men.

    To me they seem without depth and unbelievable - even if I didn't know the real story. I don't know if its the script, direction or actors - but some of the scenes seem unintentionally funny, and not just because of the horrible dialogue. But not funny enough to make the scenes entertaining or captivating. Using the rape of a cow to show to even the most dim-witted whos the antagonist of the series, is for a director poor craftsmanship to the degree that words really fail me. There are no nuances or for that matter a shred of depth in any of the characters.

    Also from a script that seems incomplete or written ad hoc, then the framework of the story seems disjointed and unbelievable - especially when one as a Dane or German know the true story. For instance then Mr. Bornedal amongst other things, seems completely oblivious to the fact that the war in 1864 was a small part in the expansion of the Prussian state, and thus part of a much bigger picture.

    The fact of the matter is that 3 scriptwriters were fired on this production, before Mr. Bornedal tried to do it himself. Presumably as I see it, because he felt that he could do a better job himself. Which sadly and obviously he could not. The failing script and inept dialogue, makes it hard for the actors to make this anything but a farce. Not to mention watching it.

    If one is to make a, what is claimed to be a historical series, then its an advantage to source it with facts from more than one book and source. Which does not seems to be the case here. If one is inspired by, rather than attempting to recreate a historical period or context, then one needs to makes a different type or script and series.

    Also as a Dane, then to me, it seems obvious that this series is a clear political manifestation. Specifically then it appears that Mr. Bornedal is a exponent of the Cultural Radical school of danish entertainment industry. A loose collection of writers, media professionals and academics. Which amongst other things have a common support for the danish party the Radical Left - a party based amongst other things on Pacifism. The formation of which in large parts were a reaction to the defeat in 1864.

    In other words then one of the bigger problems I have with this series, is that I personally see it as a political manipulation of history, financed by all the danish taxpayers, and pretending to present facts rather than fiction. The completely irrational and incomprehensible need to have scenes from present day, reinforces this while adding nothing to the story, other than making a political statement. Badly. A view and interpretation, the validity of which, is reinforced by the former Chief of Drama in the danish national broadcasting Ingolf Gabold, who in the danish newspapers in early 2016 admitted that he saw the series as a political project. QED.

    Leaving that aside and focusing on the story, or lack thereof, and leaving all pretence of historical accuracy behind, then it seems to me, that Mr. Bornedal could really have benefited from cooperation with a (more) professional writer and producer. There are many scenes that seem out of place and which are hard to connect to the story. The scenes from present day only adding to the confusion.

    What really gets to me is not so much that this is political propaganda, but that its so poorly made propaganda, one-dimensional and frankly somewhat boring apart from the battles. However much I tried, then I never really had a suspension of disbelief.

    I find this to be a case of Mr. Bornedal rejecting reality and substituting it for his own. And doing it in such a clumsy, monochromatic, inelegant and frankly unintelligent way, that one is left feeling like a child having been told and retold ad nauseam about the way Mr. Bornedal feels and thinks about war and nationalism in general, and in this war in particular.

    It is in my opinion a very poorly constructed narrative and hopelessly badly executed.

    In my honest and personal opinion, then this series is not even mediocre.

    And I write this in spite of its cinematography and to some extent the costumes, which in spite of its script and directors efforts, ARE actually quite good, and really the only redeeming aspect(s) of the series.

    Which to me personally, sadly is no real surprise, as I personally feel that Mr. Bornedal have only ever made one really good movie, namely the original Nightwatch.
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