The Salvation - Trace of Retribution

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German title The Salvation - Trace of Retribution
Original title The Salvation
Country of production Denmark
original language Danish , English
Publishing year 2014
length 92 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
JMK 16
Director Kristian Levring
script Kristian Levring,
Anders Thomas Jensen
production Sisse Graum Jørgensen
music Kasper Winding
camera Jens Schlosser
cut Pernille Bech Christensen

The Salvation is a Danish late-west directed by Kristian Levring from 2014 based on a script by Levring and Anders Thomas Jensen . The leading roles are cast by Mads Mikkelsen , Eva Green , Mikael Persbrandt and Jeffrey Dean Morgan . The German theatrical release was on October 9, 2014.


After the lost war against Prussia , the former Danish soldier Jon Jensen moved to America with his brother Peter in 1864 in order to build a modest existence there. After seven years, his wife Marie and his son Kresten travel to Germany. After Jon picks them up at the train station and they go home in a stagecoach, there is a scandal. Two strange bush thieves travel with them, threatening the family and harassing Marie. The helpless Jon is thrown out of the moving carriage, but immediately begins to pursue the carriage. He finds his dead son on the street. When he has overtaken the coach, he kills the two culprits with a rifle picked up by the coachman who has since been murdered. With his wife, raped and murdered, and his dead son, he goes to his farm in despair.

Not far from there is the small town of Black Creek. This has long been helpless under the gang of the former Colonel Delarue, a sadistic veteran from the Indian wars. This presses the city from protection money and covers it with arbitrary violence. One of the two men Jon killed was a brother of Delarue. He shoots some residents in revenge and threatens further reprisals if the killer is not extradited. Jon, who visits the city with his brother to sell his land, because he wants to travel further west, is recognized by the residents as a murderer, arrested and finally handed over to the gang who live in a nearby ghost town. However, Peter manages to escape from Black Creek prison, to free his brother, weakened by violence and torture, in the ghost town and to flee with him. To shake off the pursuers, Peter leaves Jon in a hiding place and initially rides on. When the injured Jon comes to, he can only see how some of the gang's riders are dragging his brother's corpse after them.

Jon is recovering on a nearby farm whose owner had just sold her land after her husband was murdered by Delarue. He goes back to town to arm himself with weapons. He wants revenge on Delarue and his gang for the death of his family. There he learns that the local mayor is buying up land to hand it over to Delarue, who speculates that it will appreciate in value because of the oil found there. Together with the young shopkeeper Voicheck, he embarks on a campaign of revenge in the gang's ghost town. There he unexpectedly meets the help of the mute Madelaine. She was kept as a slave by Indians who cut off her tongue before she was freed by Delarue and his brother. But she has long suffered massive reprisals and recently fell out of favor because of an attempt to escape.

Bit by bit Jon decimates the gang, but the young grocer does not survive the battle. Finally he faces Delarue, who shoots him, but is then struck down by Madelaine. Jon kills Delarue at close range. After a while, the corrupt sheriff and other residents of the nearby settlement arrive. On the one hand, they are grateful and relieved about the end of Delarue and his followers, but are suspicious of Jon and Madelaine. The two ride on together. Before the credits roll, numerous oil towers can be seen in the city area.


Filming for the film began on April 8, 2013 in Johannesburg , South Africa . The budget was around 10.5 million euros.

The film premiered on May 17, 2014 as a midnight screening at the Cannes International Film Festival . In Germany, it was released in cinemas on October 9, 2014, and was seen by 23,870 moviegoers.


The reviews of "The Salvation" were mostly positive. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a positive rating of 65% from a total of 43 reviews. The average rating is 6.2 / 10.

The film website called the film a "perfectly cast, classic revenge story that brings back memories of Eastwood and Corbucci, but comes with a modern look". The film-dienst described the film as an "exciting revival of the western genre, which primarily takes up motifs from the spaghetti westerns and describes a world in which the good no longer exists with emphatically exaggerated characters". The film convinces "with its pointed style as well as with its main actor".

Spiegel Online praised the film as an “exciting genre piece”, although after a quarter of an hour one would suspect that the plot “amounts to a showdown between a lonely righteous man and a superior force of armed villains”. The portrayal of Mikkelsen was also highlighted, with his "silent fatalism that radiates from the long-suffering face of Mikkelsen from the very first shot".

However, Die Zeit made negative criticism , which is of the opinion that the film would slacken off sharply after the half and "now obediently submit to the genre rules". A “half-hearted criticism of capitalism” was also criticized.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Certificate of Release for The Salvation - Trace of Retribution . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , September 2014 (PDF; test number: 146 784 K).
  2. Age rating for The Salvation - Trace of Retribution . Youth Media Commission .
  3. The Salvation (2014) (English) . In: Tuppence Magazine , May 26, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014. 
  4. First Look At Mads Mikkelsen In Western 'The Salvation' (English) . In: , April 22, 13 Template: FormatDate / Maintenance / 0. Retrieved October 2, 2014. 
  5. Eva Green, Jeffrey Dean Morgan & More Join Mads Mikkelsen In 'The Salvation' (English) . In: , April 22, 2013. Accessed July 24, 2013. 
  8. ^ The Salvation. Rotten Tomatoes , accessed March 16, 2015 .
  9. The Salvation - Trace of Retribution. In: . Busch Entertainment Media, accessed March 16, 2015 .
  10. ^ The Salvation. film service , accessed October 21, 2014 .
  11. ^ Benjamin Moldenhauer: Danish Western "The Salvation": Metzeln with Mads Mikkelsen. Spiegel Online , October 19, 2014, accessed March 16, 2015 .
  12. Oliver Kaever: Mads Mikkelsen, the most beautiful western landscape since Clint Eastwood. Die Zeit , October 7, 2014, p. 2 , accessed on March 16, 2015 .