Selma Lagerlöf and the movies
The adventure of Selma Lagerlöf in the movie business
A few years into the 20th century the film industry's leaders and directors started to look for materials that could be adapted to film. They wanted to raise the film's status, broaden the audience and make more money. They searched for storytellers, stories and texts, which could be held in esteem.

Already in 1909, Selma Lagerlöf got the first request, but three men disagreed on the proposal to film The Adventure of Nils Holgersson. But she bought shares into Biografaktiebolaget Victoria, started with the aim to create high-quality movies. Among the shareholders were royalty, Government Ministers, general managers and experienced educators. Some of them had only a few years back been virulently opposed to the film.

In the early 1910s Selma Lagerlöf sold the right to film The Saga of Gosta Berling to a Danish company, a deal that she would later regret. Swedish film industry's great entrepreneur, Charles Magnusson recruited two directors, Victor Sjöström and Mauritz Stiller and cinematographer Julius Jaenzon – a golden team.

An unprecedented success story started by the contract with Selma Lagerlöf. During ten years, twelve of her stories became movies. No author has had such an impact on the cinema audience.

Ett besök hos Selma Lagerlöf (1926)
A visit to Selma Lagerlof (1926)
Svenska Filminstitutet, filmarkivet.
Produktion: Film AB Le Mat-Metro-Goldwyn.
Längd 5 min. 40 sek.


Selma Lagerlöf of Sweden
– First Female Nobel Laureate in Literature