Nordisk Films Kompagni 1906-1924, Volume 5

Nordisk Films Kompagni 1906-1924, Volume 5

The Rise and Fall of the Polar Bear
Isak Thorsen
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 10/01/2017
Format: Paperback 30 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-861-96731-5
Bookmark and Share

Other formats available:

Also available:

Buy from Amazon


Nordisk Films Kompagni 1906–1924: The Rise and Fall of the Polar Bear is the first comprehensive study of the Danish film company, Nordisk Films Kompagni, in the silent era. Based on archival research, primarily in the company’s surviving business archives, this volume of KINtop describes and analyzes how Nordisk Film became one of the leading players in the world market and why the company failed to maintain this position. This volume is written from perspective of Nordisk Film as a business and organization, from its establishment in 1906 until 1924 when founder Ole Olsen stepped back. Among the many topics and themes this volume examines are the competitive advantages Nordisk Film gained in reorganizing the production to multiple-reel films around 1910; the company’s highly efficient film production which anticipated the departmentalized organization of Hollywood; Nordisk Film’s aggressive expansion strategy in Germany, Central-Europe and Russia during the First World War; and the grand plans for taking control of UFA in association with the American Famous Players in the post-war years.

Author Bio

Isak Thorsen is Research Assistant in the Section of Film and Media Studies at the University of Copenhagen and holds a PhD in Film Studies. He contributed to the anthology "100 Years of Nordisk Film" (DFI 2006) and has written for the journals Film History, Kosmorama, 16:9, Mifune and Sentura. He is editor and author of the Danish entries in the Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Cinema (Scarecrow 2012).


“By working with the actual sources, the volume is rich in detail  . . .  the book is an entertaining story about one of the big players in early film history.”
 — Film History

“Thorsen presents us with a thoroughly engaging book about a littlediscussed area of filmmaking in the silent era, managing to make the story accessible even for those readers with little or no knowledge of business or finance. What is more, he does so in a way that makes it of interest not only to scholars interested in the relatively niche area of the business of filmmaking, but those researching the silent era in general.”
 — Studies in European Cinema

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents

The Research Tradition
The Film Historical Tradition Approach The Structure of This Book

Ole Olsen Biograf-Theatret
Olsen’s First Films
The International Film Industry Open and Closed Markets
From Entrepreneur to Modern Industrial Enterprise
The Printing Laboratory
The Technical Quality of the Films Colourization of the Films Actualities
The First Fiction Films
The Studio in Valby
The Artistic Quality
The Polar Bear on the Globe Nordisk’s Protection of its Films Pathé Frères and Gaumont Nordisk’s Distribution Network Agents and Distributors
A Tiny Little Mosquito against a Big, Big Elephant
The Congress of Fools

Reorganization of the Company Den hvide Slavehandel
The Dangerous Age
The Founding of the Limited Company The Bank Syndicate
"Long and Artistic Films are our Future Motto"
Opposition to the Long Films
Exclusive System, Monopolfilm and Distribution
The Script Department Censorship and Self-Regulation Guidelines for Scriptwriters The Censorship Memoranda Russian Endings
Nordisk’s Positioning of its Films Actors and Stars
The Organization of the Film Factory Bureaucratization
Hollywood in Copenhagen Capital Gains
Olsen’s Sale and Stockjobbing Expansion in the USA

The Outbreak of World War I
Russische Schreckensregimente an der Ostgrenze
"Nordisk Films Kompagni Will Now Become the Biggest in the World" Fotorama Filmsbureau A/S and Swedish companies
Nordisk’s Expansion Policy in Germany Expansion in Russia
"They Thought We Were German" Ban on Luxury Goods in Germany
The Second Expansion of the Share Capital Aubert and the Black List
The European Shareholding Company The Black Lists
The July Letter

After the War Artistic Decline?
New Trade Conditions The Estate after the War
The European and the American Film Industry
The New Production Method Universum Film Akt