A Day in October (1992)

PG-13 | 103 mins | Drama, Romance | 28 October 1992

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HISTORY

The film begins with the following title card: “On April 9, 1940, German armed forces occupied Demark. By late September 1943, Danish resistance and martial law were facts of life. The rumor of a German action against the Danish Jews was about to come true.”
       The film concludes with the following title card: “With the help of a nation of Danes, more than 7,200 Danish Jews escaped to Sweden. 460 Danish Jews were arrested and taken to the Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. Nearly all survived. On May 5, 1945, Liberation Day in Denmark, all Danish Jews began their final journey home.” This title card is followed by a quotation from the Mishnah: “Whoever saves a single life is as one who has saved an entire world”; as well as by the dedication: “This film is dedicated to all the rescuers and to all the rescued.”
       Principal photography began 10 Sep 1990, according in Copenhagen, Denmark, according to an 18 Jul 1990 Var production chart. Production notes in AMPAS library files indicate that the interior of the “Kublitz” home was built “in its entirety” at Empire Stage, a “state-of-the-art” facility owned by Danish-born director Kenneth Madsen. A building in the suburb of Brede stood in for the factory where “Solomon Kublitz” works. The film’s final scenes, including the Jews’ overnight hideout and subsequent departure by boat to Sweden, were filmed in the small coastal towns of Nivå and Espergærde, located north of Copenhagen. On 26 Nov 1990, Var ran a full-page advertisement announcing the completion of principal photography. Although an 18 Apr 1990 DV article suggested that the film would ... More Less

The film begins with the following title card: “On April 9, 1940, German armed forces occupied Demark. By late September 1943, Danish resistance and martial law were facts of life. The rumor of a German action against the Danish Jews was about to come true.”
       The film concludes with the following title card: “With the help of a nation of Danes, more than 7,200 Danish Jews escaped to Sweden. 460 Danish Jews were arrested and taken to the Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. Nearly all survived. On May 5, 1945, Liberation Day in Denmark, all Danish Jews began their final journey home.” This title card is followed by a quotation from the Mishnah: “Whoever saves a single life is as one who has saved an entire world”; as well as by the dedication: “This film is dedicated to all the rescuers and to all the rescued.”
       Principal photography began 10 Sep 1990, according in Copenhagen, Denmark, according to an 18 Jul 1990 Var production chart. Production notes in AMPAS library files indicate that the interior of the “Kublitz” home was built “in its entirety” at Empire Stage, a “state-of-the-art” facility owned by Danish-born director Kenneth Madsen. A building in the suburb of Brede stood in for the factory where “Solomon Kublitz” works. The film’s final scenes, including the Jews’ overnight hideout and subsequent departure by boat to Sweden, were filmed in the small coastal towns of Nivå and Espergærde, located north of Copenhagen. On 26 Nov 1990, Var ran a full-page advertisement announcing the completion of principal photography. Although an 18 Apr 1990 DV article suggested that the film would be made for $4 million, various contemporary sources later cited a $5 million budget.
       On 1 Apr 1991, Var indicated that post-production was complete, and that filmmakers were seeking distribution. To that end, filmmakers planned to show “parts” of the film at the 1991 Cannes International Film Festival, according to a 30 Apr 1991 HR news brief. A Day in October received its U.S. premiere on 16 Oct 1991 at the Denver Film Festival. Seven months later, an 18 May 1992 DV news item announced that Castle Hill Productions had acquired the property, with a limited release scheduled for fall 1992, as noted by a 13 Jul 1992 DV follow-up article. Prior to its official theatrical release, A Day in October screened in San Francisco and Berkeley, CA, as part of the Bay Area’s Jewish Film Festival. A 24 Jul 1992 article in the Northern California Jewish Bulletin listed screening dates of 31 Jul and 2 Aug 1992.
       Critical reception was lukewarm, with several reviewers suggesting that the less-than-suspenseful story and modest production values seemed more suitable for television.
       End credits include the following acknowledgements: “The producers wish to extend their appreciation to: The Jewish Community of Denmark; The HAGESKE Foundation, Nivaa; The National Museum in Brede; The Thanks to Scandinavia Scholarship Fund, New York honoring the Scandinavian rescue,” and, “Special thanks to: Rabbi Bent Melchior; Paul Hammerich; Herbert Pundik; Jørgen Kieler; Bitten Safir; Dalia Safir; Bent Christensen; Knud Dyby; Knud Pedersen; Ernest Harbo; Esben Kjeldbœk; Flemming Lehrmann; Oleg Vidov; Erik Jørgensen; Kurt Torte Jensen; Avis – Mads Munch, Ivan Nadelman; Unibank – Lennart Hansson; SAS Scandinavia Hotel – Jørn Larsen; Johan Ankerstjerne – Thomas Wissing; Delta Travel – Allan Møller; Tuborg; Motorola/Storno; Police Assistance – Bjarne Woldiderich; Copenhagen Jewish School; Copenhagen Synagogue Choir.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
18 Apr 1990.
---
Daily Variety
27 Nov 1990.
---
Daily Variety
18 May 1992.
---
Daily Variety
13 Jul 1992.
---
Heritage
10 Aug 1990
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Sep 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 Oct 1990
p. 1, 47.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Apr 1991
p. I-5.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Mar 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Oct 1992
p. 10, 14.
LA Reader
13 Nov 1992.
---
LA Weekly
13 Nov 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
11 Nov 1992
Calendar, p. 5.
New York Times
28 Oct 1992
p. 20.
Northern California Jewish Bulletin
24 Jul 1992
p. 31.
Variety
18 Jul 1990.
---
Variety
26 Nov 1990.
---
Variety
1 Apr 1991.
---
Variety
30 Mar 1992
p. 79.
Village Voice
10 Nov 1992.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Just Betzer Presents
A Kenmad/Panorama Film International Production
in association with the Danish Film Institute
A Kenneth Madsen Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Story consultant
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Video playback
2d unit cam
Still photog
Gaffer
Dolly grip
Video unit
Video unit
Cam equip
Lighting and grip
Film stock
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Story board artist
Artwork
FILM EDITORS
1st asst film ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Props
Const coord
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Standby carpenter
Painter
Painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Ward asst
MUSIC
Mus/Mus arr
Mus/Mus arr
Musician
Musician, Artium Quartet
Musician, Artium Quartet
Musician, Artium Quartet
Musician, Artium Quartet
Musician
Musician
Musician
Musician
Musician/Cond
Musician
Studio
Addl mus rec by
Addl mus consultant
SOUND
Post prod sd
Sd ed
Foley artist
Mixing studio
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec opt work, The Danish Film Studio
MAKEUP
Make up/Hair stylist
Spec eff make up
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Assoc, Casting
Casting Copenhagen
Loc scout
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Asst to Mr Betzer
Asst to Mr Betzer
Asst to Mr Rivier
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Craft service
Projectionist
Legal services
Legal services
Legal services
Legal services
Legal services
Legal services
Pub consultant
European pub
U.S. pub
Stage
Stage mgr
War footage
STAND INS
COLOR PERSONNEL
Laboratory
Film stock
SOURCES
SONGS
"Flamingo," written by Ed Anderson, composer Ted Grouya, performed by Kai Ewans and His Swinging 16, record company Tono
"I Heard," written by Irving Mills, composer Don Redman, performed by Svend Asmussen, record company Odeon
"Kong Christian," composer D. L. Rogert, performed by The Royal Danish Orchestra, conductor Svend Christian Felumb
+
SONGS
"Flamingo," written by Ed Anderson, composer Ted Grouya, performed by Kai Ewans and His Swinging 16, record company Tono
"I Heard," written by Irving Mills, composer Don Redman, performed by Svend Asmussen, record company Odeon
"Kong Christian," composer D. L. Rogert, performed by The Royal Danish Orchestra, conductor Svend Christian Felumb
"Prins Jørgen's March," composer Jeremiah Clarke
"Ain't She Sweet," written by Jack Yellen, composer Milton Ager, performed by Leo Mathisen, record company Odeon
"A Wee Bit Of Swing," composer Leo Mathisen, performed by Niels Foss Sckalaorkester, record company Imperial
"The Jeep Is Jumpin'," composer Duke Ellington/Johnny Hodges, performed by Bent Fabricius-Bjerre, record company Odeon
"Hörst Du Das Lied Der Geige."
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
28 October 1992
Premiere Information:
U.S. premiere at Denver Film Festival: 16 Oct 1991; New York opening: 28 Oct 1992; Los Angeles opening: 11 Nov 1992
Production Date:
10 Sep--late Nov 1990 in Copenhagen, Denmark
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Duration(in mins):
103
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Countries:
Denmark, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1943 Denmark, people at a movie theater laugh at newsreels that have been edited to mock Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party. Jewish teenager Sara Kublitz watches from the projection room, unafraid of the gun-toting resistance fighters who insist that she show the films. In a nearby warehouse, four young men listen to British radio news, interpreting certain odd phrases as a coded set of instructions. They place a bomb in the bottom of a beer crate, and arrange the bottles to disguise the device. The next day, Niels Jensen, one of the rebels, delivers the crate to an office inside a factory that has been commandeered by German troops for the purpose of making rocket bombs. As he pedals his bicycle out the front gate, the crate explodes. German guards open fire, but Niels escapes into the surrounding woods. That night, when Sara Kublitz returns home from working her shift at the movie theater, she discovers the unconscious young man in the bushes outside her home. After dragging him into the tool shed, Sara dresses his wounds. When her mother, Emma, comments about her being out past curfew, Sara lies to cover up her actions. Later, her father, Solomon Kublitz, quarrels with Sara when she expresses sympathy for the resistance fighters. In the morning, Solomon goes to work, and Sara reveals Niels’s presence to her mother. Shocked by his pallor, Emma agrees to suture the bleeding wound. Meanwhile, Solomon Kublitz, who works as a bookkeeper at the factory, learns that his boss, the ruthless German officer Larsen, is searching for a fugitive resistance fighter. On his way home that day, Solomon observes heightened military activity on the ... +


In 1943 Denmark, people at a movie theater laugh at newsreels that have been edited to mock Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party. Jewish teenager Sara Kublitz watches from the projection room, unafraid of the gun-toting resistance fighters who insist that she show the films. In a nearby warehouse, four young men listen to British radio news, interpreting certain odd phrases as a coded set of instructions. They place a bomb in the bottom of a beer crate, and arrange the bottles to disguise the device. The next day, Niels Jensen, one of the rebels, delivers the crate to an office inside a factory that has been commandeered by German troops for the purpose of making rocket bombs. As he pedals his bicycle out the front gate, the crate explodes. German guards open fire, but Niels escapes into the surrounding woods. That night, when Sara Kublitz returns home from working her shift at the movie theater, she discovers the unconscious young man in the bushes outside her home. After dragging him into the tool shed, Sara dresses his wounds. When her mother, Emma, comments about her being out past curfew, Sara lies to cover up her actions. Later, her father, Solomon Kublitz, quarrels with Sara when she expresses sympathy for the resistance fighters. In the morning, Solomon goes to work, and Sara reveals Niels’s presence to her mother. Shocked by his pallor, Emma agrees to suture the bleeding wound. Meanwhile, Solomon Kublitz, who works as a bookkeeper at the factory, learns that his boss, the ruthless German officer Larsen, is searching for a fugitive resistance fighter. On his way home that day, Solomon observes heightened military activity on the streets. When he discovers Niels recuperating in Sara’s room, Solomon berates the boy for putting Emma and Sara in danger. Niels accuses the bookkeeper of siding with the Gestapo, but Solomon dismisses the insult, mocking the resistance for placing the bomb in the wrong office building and killing an innocent man. The next day, Solomon advises the young man to leave, but Niels wants strategic information about the factory first. Solomon refuses. That night, Sara confronts her father about the activities at the factory, disappointed in his apparent complicity with the Germans. Solomon defends his response as adapting to wartime conditions, claiming he only wants to ensure his family’s safety. Later, Emma Kublitz encourages her husband to use his position at the factory to help Danish Jews. The next day, Solomon steals a map of the site, and shows Niels which building should be targeted. However, he notes that two of Niels’s comrades are being held captive inside. In the middle of the night, Niels awakens Sara and asks her to accompany him to the resistance fighters’ warehouse hideout. There, he gathers materials to make another bomb, suggesting that Solomon would be the ideal person to plant the device. Outraged, Sara storms off, but after reconsidering his proposition, she returns to assist him. Niels embraces her. The next day, Solomon gains access to the room in which the two rebels are held, and is dismayed to discover them dead. He reports the news to Niels, who crafts a bomb and hides it inside an adding machine. Although uneasy, Solomon agrees to go through with the scheme. He carries the device in plain sight past the German guards, and sets the timer to detonate after work hours. When the bomb destroys the building, officer Larsen immediately suspects the bookkeeper and goes to the Kublitz residence to confront him. However, the family has already fled. Niels and Sara take refuge with a family friend, while Solomon and his wife hide in a print shop. The next day, the Jewish rabbi informs the congregation that Hitler has warranted the arrest of all Danish Jews. Solomon and Emma Kublitz call their friends, using coded words and phrases to alert their fellow Jews to the impending raid. Meanwhile, Niels and Sara reveal their feelings for each other, and spend an intimate evening together. The next day, Niels goes out to meet members of the resistance. Sara nervously awaits his return, running to open the door when the handle clatters. However, she is confronted by officer Larsen, who demands to know the fugitive’s whereabouts. As Larsen paces the room taunting her, Sara reaches under the pillow for a handgun. Niels, halfway up the stairs, hears a gunshot. He races into the room to find Larsen dead. Niels escorts the distraught Sara to the print shop, where Emma and Solomon Kublitz present a list of Jews who still need to be notified about the raid. Everyone takes a page of the list and risks their personal safety to complete the task. Under cover of darkness, Niels drives the Kublitzes and several other Jewish families to a small coastal town, where he pays a fisherman to transport the refugees. However, rough seas prevent them from sailing out to sea. The next night, the Jews are nearly discovered by German troops as they trek from their hideout to the dock. There, Sara contends with Niels’s decision to remain in Denmark, tearfully kissing him goodbye before boarding the boat to Sweden. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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