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Gabriel Axel is a Actor, Director and Scriptwriter Danois born on 18 april 1918 at Aarhus (Danemark)

Gabriel Axel

Gabriel Axel
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Birth name Axel Gabriel Erik Mørch
Nationality Danemark
Birth 18 april 1918 at Aarhus (Danemark)
Death 9 february 2014 (at 95 years)
Awards Legion of Honour

Axel Gabriel Erik Mørch better known as Gabriel Axel (18 April 1918 – 9 February 2014) was a Danish film director, actor, writer and producer, best known for Babette's Feast (1987), which he wrote and directed.


Born in Aarhus, Denmark, on 18 April 1918, Axel spent most of his childhood in Paris in a wealthy Danish manufacturer's family.

In 1935, at age 17 after the family's economic collapse, he moved to Denmark and trained as a cabinet maker. In 1942, Axel was admitted to the acting school at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen. After graduating in 1945, he returned to France where he spent five years on stage in Paris, including at the Théâtre de l'Athénée under theatre director Louis Jouvet. During the winter of 1948-1949 he produced Ludvig Holberg's Diderich Menschenskraek (Diderich the Terrible) at Théâtre de Paris.

Axel returned to Denmark in 1950, and broke through as a stage director in the early 1950s. His productions included La tête des autres (Other People's Heads) by Marcel Aymé, Le Cid by Pierre Corneille, and Pour Lucrèce by Jean Giraudoux. Axel started directing for television in 1951, and, from 1951–1968, did some 48 television dramas.

From 1955, Axel was a director at Nordisk Film. His debut feature, the social-realist drama Nothing But Trouble (1955), was highly praised, and the breakthrough came with the TV film A Woman Not Wanted in 1957.

He went on to direct a string of lighter comedies and farces before making the epic Nordic saga The Red Mantle in 1967, which was selected for Cannes Film Festival competition and won a Technical Prize (Mention spéciale du grand prix technique) at the 1967 Cannes Film Festival. His other films include the popular comedy The Goldcabbage Family (1975) and its sequel, and a series of sexually oriented features including the campaigning Det kære legetøj (1968) which advocated the legalisation of pornography in Denmark.

With some 16 feature films to his credits Axel returned to France in 1977, where he directed several large projects for French television, culminating in 1985 with a historical five-episode series, Les Colonnes du ciel (Heaven's Pillars).

In 1987, Axel returned to Denmark to direct what had been his dream project for over 15 years, and is considered his masterpiece, an adaptation of Karen Blixen's Babette's Feast. After screening at the Cannes Film Festival, the film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 60th Academy Awards among others.

His next films, the youth drama Christian (1989), the historical drama Prince of Jutland (1994), after the legend of Prince Amleth, and starring Helen Mirren, Gabriel Byrne, and Christian Bale, and Leïla (2001), a love story set in Morocco, failed to achieve the same international resonance.

Alongside his directing career, Axel acted in a dozen Danish films, mostly in colourful supporting roles in popular comedies in the 1950s and 60s. He played the lead as the elegant charlatan Marcel de Sade in The Reluctant Sadist (1967).

Axel in 1995, was made a Knight of the French National Order of Merit, in 2000 Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 2003 was made Officer of the Legion of Honour. In 2003, Axel received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Copenhagen International Film Festival. In 2012 he received the Rungstedlund Award.

Axel died in his sleep on 9 February 2014 at the age of 95.

Usually with

Ghita Nørby
Ghita Nørby
(10 films)
Dirch Passer
Dirch Passer
(10 films)
Karl Stegger
Karl Stegger
(7 films)
Ove Sprogøe
Ove Sprogøe
(6 films)
Source : Wikidata

Filmography of Gabriel Axel (25 films)

Display filmography as list


Going for Broke, 1h25
Directed by Gabriel Axel
Origin Danemark
Genres Comedy, Crime
Actors Preben Kaas, Dirch Passer, Jørgen Ryg, Lily Broberg, Peter Steen, Johannes Marott
Roles Fransktalende mand
Rating65% 3.291233.291233.291233.291233.29123
Three Girls in Paris, 1h42
Directed by Gabriel Axel
Origin Danemark
Actors Daniel Gélin, Ghita Nørby, Susse Wold, Hanne Borchsenius, Dirch Passer, Paul Hagen
Roles Fransklærer
Rating56% 2.8239652.8239652.8239652.8239652.823965
Trois de perdues (en danois : Tre piger i Paris, littéralement : Trois Filles à Paris) est un film danois pour enfants réalisé par Gabriel Axel et sorti sur les écrans en 1963. Il est inspiré d'une nouvelle de Félicien Marceau.
Han, Hun, Dirch og Dario, 1h46
Directed by Annelise Reenberg
Origin Danemark
Genres Comedy
Actors Ghita Nørby, Ebbe Langberg, Dirch Passer, Dario Campeotto, Gitte Haenning, Bodil Steen
Roles Modedesigneren Monsieur Baptiste
Rating66% 3.3378053.3378053.3378053.3378053.337805
Kispus (1956)
, 1h45
Directed by Erik Balling
Origin Danemark
Genres Comedy, Romantic comedy
Actors Helle Virkner, Henning Moritzen, Nina Pens Rode, Gunnar Lauring, Ove Sprogøe, Lis Løwert
Roles Tailor
Rating61% 3.0998153.0998153.0998153.0998153.099815
The eccentric fashion designer Mr. Marcel gives his newly designed gown to the common working-class seamstress, Eva, when he sees how well it fits her. He then bets the actress who originally ordered the gown that if Eva wears his creation to an upcoming movie premiere, she will be accepted as a high-society woman. He is right and Eva attracts the young aristocrat Jakob. Eva fears that Jakob will discover her lowly background, but Jakob himself is a fraud. He is only a poor student who works as a chauffeur and sells his books to take her out. After numerous misunderstandings and complications, love wins out over snobbery and fraud.


Leïla (2001)

Directed by Gabriel Axel
Genres Drama
Actors Mélanie Doutey, Arnaud Binard, Christian E. Christiansen, Michel Bouquet
Rating52% 2.6263052.6263052.6263052.6263052.626305
Une adolescente marocaine de 16 ans tombe amoureuse d'un touriste danois, mais sa famille s'oppose à cette relation.
Royal Deceit, 1h25
Directed by Gabriel Axel
Origin Pays-bas
Genres Drama, Fantasy, Action, Adventure
Actors Gabriel Byrne, Tony Haygarth, Helen Mirren, Christian Bale, Brian Cox, Steven Waddington
Rating56% 2.802932.802932.802932.802932.80293
Jutland, royaume du Danemark. Le prince Amled, fils du roi Harvendel, assiste au meurtre de ce dernier et de son frère par son oncle Fenge, qui s'empare du trône. Le jeune homme feint de sombrer dans la folie et entame une vengeance froidement calculée par un séjour chez un vieil ami anglo-saxon, le Duc de Lindsay, trouve l'amour en la personne de sa fille et aussi l'occasion d'anéantir son oncle.
Babette's Feast, 1h42
Directed by Gabriel Axel
Origin Danemark
Genres Drama, Comedy, Comedy-drama, Romance
Themes Cooking films
Actors Stéphane Audran, Birgitte Federspiel, Jarl Kulle, Bodil Kjer, Bibi Andersson, Ghita Nørby
Rating77% 3.89553.89553.89553.89553.8955
The elderly and pious Protestant sisters Martine (Birgitte Federspiel) and Philippa (Bodil Kjer) live in a small village on the remote western coast of Jutland in 19th-century Denmark. Their father was a pastor who founded his own Pietistic conventicle. With their father now dead and the austere sect drawing no new converts, the aging sisters preside over a dwindling congregation of white-haired believers.