The 1970 film “The Only Way” directed by Bent Christensen, is a powerful and poignant masterpiece that has been largely forgotten by modern audiences. Recently, VCI released the film on Blu-ray, giving film enthusiasts a chance to rediscover this hidden gem.
The film tells the story of a Jewish family’s desperate attempt to escape Denmark during the Nazi occupation in October 1943. With the help of a group of brave Danish citizens, they embark on a dangerous journey to reach the coast and board a fishing boat to Sweden. The film’s title reflects the family’s situation – escape is their only way to survive.
The history of The Only Way
“The Only Way” was produced during a time when Holocaust films were still a relatively new genre. The film’s producers, Hemisphere Pictures and Laterna Film, took a bold step in telling this story, especially during a time when many people were still coming to terms with the atrocities of World War II.
Bent Christensen’s direction is superb, and he manages to convey the sense of urgency and danger that the family faces throughout their journey. The film’s cinematography captures the bleak and desolate Danish landscape, adding to the overall sense of hopelessness.
The film’s cast, including Ebbe Rode, Helle Virkner, and Jane Seymour, deliver powerful performances that enhance the emotional impact of the story. The minimal script allows the audience to focus on the characters’ actions and facial expressions, making their plight feel even more real.
What was the Impact and Reception of The Only Way?
“The Only Way” was well-received upon its initial release, with many praising its realistic portrayal of the Danish resistance and its focus on the human aspect of the story. The film’s success can be attributed to its ability to capture the essence of the Danish people’s bravery and selflessness during a time of great turmoil.
Despite its success, the film has been largely forgotten in recent years. This is partly due to the rise of bigger-budget Holocaust films such as “Schindler’s List” (1993) and “The Pianist” (2002), which have become the go-to films for audiences seeking stories about the Holocaust.
How will modern audiences handle the movie?
However, “The Only Way” still holds up today, and its message is just as relevant now as it was in 1970. The film’s portrayal of a community coming together to help those in need is a powerful reminder of the importance of humanity and compassion.
Moreover, the film’s focus on a lesser-known aspect of the Holocaust – the Danish resistance – makes it a unique addition to the genre. It offers a fresh perspective on a well-trodden topic, and this alone makes it worth watching.
Let’s talk about the VCI Blu-ray Release
The recent VCI Blu-ray release of “The Only Way” is a welcome addition to any film enthusiast’s collection. The high-definition transfer does justice to the film’s stark and haunting cinematography, and the audio quality is crisp and clear.
The Blu-ray release also includes a booklet containing an essay about the film’s production and impact. This added bonus offers valuable insight into the film’s historical context and production process, making it a must-read for fans of the film.
Some final words on The Only Way
“The Only Way” is a powerful and poignant masterpiece that deserves to be rediscovered by modern audiences. Its Blu-ray release offers a chance for film enthusiasts to experience this timeless tale of survival and humanity in high definition.
Despite its slow pacing and minimal dialogue, the film’s impact is undeniable. It serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of community and compassion in times of crisis, and its portrayal of the Danish resistance is a testament to the bravery and selflessness of ordinary people in the face of evil.