The Brothers Lionheart Poster

The Brothers Lionheart (1977)

Adventure | Family   
IMDB Rayting:   7.2/10
Country: Sweden | Iceland
Language: Swedish

Brothers Jonatan and Skorpan lead a revolution against the tyrant Tengil in the magical afterlife land of Nangijala.

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User Reviews

batik_jenny 5 April 2003

Maybe it's hard for people outside of Sweden to fully understand what this movie has meant to Swedes through the years. You would especially think so after reading the other comment which compares "Bröderna Lejonhjärta" to Ingmar Bergman - HELLO?!? We do have other directors than Bergman and to compare him to "Bröderna Lejonhjärta" is like comparing "American Pie" to Spike Lee or something. Please don't think you know EVERYTHING about swedish moviehistory just because you've heard of Bergman, there is so much more to it and this movie has virtually nothing in common with Bergman's work.

I am also sorry if people are too destroyed by American blockbusters and can't handle the fact that this movie is for an audience of youngsters and that it's about death. I must also say that grown-ups as well as kids can enjoy this movie. It's very good to see with your children to then discuss it afterwards.

Astrid Lindgren was without comparison Swedish literature's queen and when she died last year it seemed like we couldn't stop mourning. "Bröderna Lejonhjärta" ("The Lionheart Brothers") was maybe one of her most important books, because it handles such heavy subjects in such a great way. When Olle Hellbom's movie came in 1977 it caused a mediastorm Sweden had never seen before. First of all it had a completely new way of speaking to kids about death; a movie that took children seriously and didn't treat them like they could handle only joy and happiness.

Second of all, back in those days the only agelimits on cinemas were 15, 11 and under. They made "Bröderna Lejonhjärta" available only to people over 11 and this caused such a storm that they actually changed the swedish law so that a new agelimit came at 7! All this over one movie.

You can't understand how many kids have found comfort in this story. To children that are about to die you read this novel or show this movie and I don't know how often you read the inscription "We'll see eachother in Nangijala" on gravestones in Swedish cemeteries.

This movie was groundbreaking and it's often wrongfully accused of being too dark and strange. Children can handle a lot more than you think when it comes to strong emotions like love and loss. The only thing that scared me as a kid was the sometimes graphic violence in the end. See this if you have a chance!

shayera 26 April 2003

This movie/miniseries (as it is often shown) is probably one of the most haunting experiences I had growing up. The story deals with death, loss and responsibilities, and does not patronize its intended (young) audience. Most of all though, the soundtrack really got to me. The main theme can bring tears to my eyes even now, 26 years after it was first shown, way back then As a little boy I focused more on the scawwy scawwy dragon (don't laugh, it was kinda scary in 1977/78 !), but seeing it as an adult made me appreciate the story even more, although it's still hauntingly sad in places.. Brilliant work.

dreid-5 15 July 2004

I had the privilege of owning this movie when I was a child. I think that my parents bought it from some video store that was going out of business. It was on a BetaMax tape, and was dubbed in English. I had to of watched this movie at least once week. The story is great, and the relationship between the two brothers is rather touching. Despite the fact that even as a child the dragon (who used to remind me of "the secret weapon" from An American Tale) looked terrible, it was one of my favorite movies for years. If anyone can find a copy of this movie, I suggest you watch it. Also, the synthesized soundtrack is quite good (arpeggios reminiscent of Philip Glass or something).

rm-leite 7 July 2005

When I was a child, I saw movies fit for a child. However, there are some movies that appeal to all ages. And even if brother Lionheart is a movie designed for kids, it have a huge influence on all ages. And definitely on me! Since I saw this movie for the first time 18 years ago, I have never forgot it it. Its story is still as clear with me as any movie I have seen this week. It is A drama, its story shows a heartbreaking history, between two brothers, and one who is very sick.

This story is the best this world have ever offered! Astrid Lindgren have time after time been hinted for Nobels Prize in Litterature, and the Director of this movie gives the story from her books among the best transfers from book to video ever! Americans makes among the world best movies! But compared to this movie, Its actors, and its director - all the Americans have to see themselves beaten! Compared to Astrid Lindgrens and Olle Hellboms "Brother Lionheart" They are all amateurs! See this with your children! But bring Lots of napkins!

Liza-19 1 March 2002

I haven't seen this movie since I was eight years old. I'm now in my early twenties and can remember almost everything about it! This was such a beautiful film, and is both tragic and uplifting. The story is mystical and magical, and the love between the brothers is heartwarming. I highly recommend it.

milo_494 15 April 2005

I think this film, and of course mainly the book by Astrid Lindgren, is one of the bravest children's movie I have ever seen. I remember as a child, seeing this film on video, and feeling totally absorbed with it, as I had never, until then, seen a movie that dealt with such issues for a child my age.

Thoughts moving around life and death are issues that all kids are confronted with, and are issues which evokes questions in the minds of children. Many grown-ups are unable to handle questions from kids regarding death, in these cases I think this film is an exquisite piece of art.

But of course the film is not all about death, it is also a movie about bravery, go about and dare to do what frightens you in life, and of course the life altering condition of love, the love between two brothers.

It's interesting to hear how Lindgren imaginative work started for this book. She told a Swedish newspaper many years ago that it started out with her walking through a cemetery, which was something she liked to do, and seeing the grave of two brothers. Then a time after, that she attended a press conference for the casting of a film based on one of her books, after the press conference the leading actor (a seven-year old) walked down the stage and sat down in his older brothers knee and the older brother kissed him on the forehead, which was something she found very moving; by then she knew her next story was going to be about two brothers. The final imaginative episode was when she went with the train in northern Sweden, she told it as being a cold winter day, "a day when it was as beautiful as if it wasn't of this earth" by then she knew that the story was to involve the question of death, and a life after this.

david_forsberg86 27 June 2005

When I first saw this movie at age of 6, I thought it was the most exiting movie I had ever seen. It teaches children about death in a good way, without getting silly.

The storyline is that Karl (Skorpan or Crispy) Lejon is sick and knowing that he soon gonna die. His brother Jonathan tells him about the land Nangijala, a land of tales and campfires (sagornas och lägerledarnas land). Jonathan dies soon after that when trying to save Skorpan from a fire. And soon after that Skorpan dies too. When they first meet up in Nangijala it seems like heaven, Skorpan can ride horses and swim. But soon he finds out that the evil black knight Tengil has enslaved the the village next to them. Skopan and Jonathan then joins the resistance force.

As I began this comment, this is a great movie. It is one of the most famous in Sweden, and EVERY swede I know love this movie. I just say too all of you; See this movie.

graphic_innovations 2 December 2005

I have vague but very fond memories of this movie from my youth. My parents rented it for me sometime in the late 80's and I remember watching it again and again. I wish it wasn't so hard to find, it appears Amazon has a copy now and again. The movie has a magical quality about it, that as a child I found to be very gripping! I loved the characters and the story had wonderful morals that even children could understand and identify with. Anyway, the previous review is much better than anything I could write here, but I wanted to add my great memories to this review. Excellent story for children, I remember laughing, crying, and truly being enthralled in the story (Age 5 or so).

dracopticon 5 May 2003

*This review may contain spoilers*

This one hour and 42 minutes long story-telling saga is a place you're hauntingly swept into when watching.

From the rather ordinary modern daily life of two young boys living in the 1970's, to an abruptly grinding halt when they one after the other dies and is transported into another land, called Nangijala. There the world is a much more clear place of good and evil, but also much more cruel and more beautiful than the one they've just left. Here, the evil stonehearted knight Tengil rules with absolute iron-fisted power.

But there is also an existing hidden movement among the peaceful farmers, almost like in a strange saga-version of WW2 France, there is a "La Resistance" that works to hinder the dark and violent forces of Tengil. Among the heart-achingly beautiful valleys of Cherry Blossom Valley and the Briar-Bush Valley, there grows an ever stronger, but silent cry of freedom from the oppressors. But it is so beautiful here, that one cannot even start to suspect that anything else can be evil, not in such a warm cosy world such as this?

Not until you meet the dark-helmed, dark-mantled warriors of Tengil and learn their cruel ways of vile heartlessness. Then you understand how incredibly fragile the farmers world are, how defenseless the warm and friendly people of the two Valleys are. Ripe for the taking by the mailed hand of Tengil,his cruel warriors and as if that isn't enough, also their immensely powerful ally, Katla the Dragon.

This story is like an early but very successful paralelled story to the Lord of the Rings, only in a much smaller scale. But that doesn't matter, as the heart-pounding feelings of righteousness are just as strong here. You want the weak ones to carry the torch in just the same manner as in LoTR, and burn down evil against all odds in the same way. The only real difference lies in the start of this story, as the two brothers live in our world. And that makes the 'reality' of it all so much more true. You can understand the hopelessness here, the hatred, the cold cruelty, the love for beauty of the heart - because it all comes from people of our own world. No CGI-created computerized creatures here, even if the dragon is really badly made. None.

And this is only understandable when you see it. So do not miss this for the world. You win the views of two worlds here. With tears.

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