The Only Way (1970)

Movie Info

Movie Info

Bent Christensen
Run Time
1 hour and 36 minutes
Not Rated

VP Content Ratings

Sex & Nudity
Star Rating
★★★★4 out of 5

Relevant Quotes

Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but those who are kind to the needy honor him.

ProProverbs 14:31
 And all the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate bowed down and did obeisance to Haman, for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai did not bow down or do obeisance.
Then the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate said to Mordecai, “Why do you disobey the king’s command?” When they spoke to him day after day and he would not listen to them, they told Haman, in order to see whether Mordecai’s words would stand, for he had told them that he was a Jew. When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow down or do obeisance to him, Haman was infuriated. But he thought it beneath him to kill[a] only Mordecai. So, having been told who Mordecai’s people were, Haman plotted to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus.

Esther 3:2-6
Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, or I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…

Matthew 25:34-35

Good Film for HOLOCAUST Day, May 6, 2024

The story of how the Danes, or rather some of them, smuggled most of the 8000 Danish Jews to Sweden is a good film to watch in honor of Holocaust Day, which comes in early May. Director/cowriter Bent Christensen focuses upon one family, the Steins, consisting of the father Leo, mother Ruth, and grown daughter Lillian.

Lillian Stein (Jane Seymour) is a ballet teacher when the Nazis take over Denmark. The Danish government had negotiated a deal in which they would not resist if the Nazis guaranteed that the Jews would be left alone, rather than rounded up and sent to concentration camps as in other occupied countries. Thus, the Stein family, especially father Leo Stein, cling to a false sense of security when in late 1943 Lillian is told at the studio that the Nazis plan to round up Jews in the near future. Leo is very skeptical of the report, refusing to seek a way out of the country. This is his home where he has earned a good living as  violin dealer. He has just bought at a good price a rare violin on speculation and has a prospective customer who is able to meet his price.

Fortunately for the Steins they have a great neighbor in Mr. Peterson (Ove Sprogøe) who has been exploring ways to smuggle out the harassed Jews. Fishermen at the docks are loathe to become involved, turning him away at first. He persists, and eventually finds those willing to risk their boats and their lives for the sake of their beleaguered counnrymen. Leo still persists in naively rejecting pleas that the family flee. One day while he is out, Mr. Peterson, knowing that this is round-up day, persuades Lillian and her mother Ruth (Helle Virkner) to come up and hide in his apartment. The Nazis invade the neighborhood and find almost no one at home—here and throughout Copenhagen. Their leader is furious.

When Mr. Stein does return to the building, he is at last convinced. Now it is up to Mr. Peterson to get the family out of the city and onto a boat for the short trip to neutral Sweden, with Mr. Stein clutching his precious violin. The last act is tension filled and contains the only action sequence in which a group of partisans engage the pursuing Nazi soldiers in a brief battle.

The film, though the first half might be a bit slow-paced for some, is a good tribute to the compassion of freedom-loving Danes who refused  to give over their neighbors, as happened in all too many other countries where antisemism ran high—and in too many cases, such as our own, still does. For movie buffs, this is Jane Seymour’s first speaking role, one more good reason for watching the drama. It is available for free no YouTube at The Only Way (1970) | Full Movie (

 This review is in the May issue of VP along with a set of questions for reflection and/or discussion. If you have found reviews on this site helpful, please consider purchasing a subscription or individual issue in The Store.

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