Det hemmelighedsfulde X

Det hemmelighedsfulde XDas geheimnisvolle X / Sealed Orders

Retrospective, Denmark 1914, 83 Min., silent, engl. it

Marine lieutenant van Hauen takes over a new command, while his wife begins getting love letters from an obscure count. Although she brusquely rejects first his written, and later his physical advances, her husband comes to the conclusion she is cheating on him. But in fact, Count Spinelli is a foreign spy, whose intentions are anything but amorous … With its high-contract black-and-white “painting”, Benjamin Christensen’s directorial debut was instrumental in setting the style for the espionage genre. The unusual use of light and shadow, often involving a single light source, makes this early film noir one of the best films of its era. The film is famed for Christensen’s experiments with backlighting, which created sharply defined silhouettes, and the scenes set in dark rooms lit with individual beams of light. – With live musical accompaniment.

The students of the Lübeck Academy of Music provide extra thrills for this early film noir. Karin Lorenz, Maja Charlotte Vollstedt, Giulia Corvaglia, and Fabio Paiano – director: Prof. Franz Danksagmüller.

Included in the composition are such exotic instruments as the thingamagoop, tubbutec, and wing pinger.

Director Benjamin Christensen

Screenplay Benjamin Christensen, Laurids Skands

Producer Benjamin Christensen

Festival Contact Danish Film Institute, Mail:, Web:

Cast Benjamin Christensen (Leutnant van Hauen), Karen Sandberg (Frau van Hauen), Hermann Spiro (Graf Spinelli), Otto Reinwald (Sohn), Fritz Lamprecht (Konteradmiral van Hauen), Amanda Lind (Kindermädchen Jane)

catalogue page PDF-Download


No screenings are available for this film.