The Outlaw and His Wife ★★★★

In Iceland, Victor Sjostrom, an escaped convict, is employed by Edith Erastoff on her farm. They fall in love, and when the sheriff comes after Sjostrom, they escape into the wilds. With their daughter, they live happily in a small cave. John Ekman, who helped in their escape, has been outlawed and comes to live with them. After two years, Ekman develops a desire for Erastoff. He menaces her but restrains himself. Knowing that continued restraint is impossible, he starts to leave. He sees the sheriff and other men coming, and returns to warn Sjostrom and Erastoff. They are attacked by the sheriff, and rather than have the sheriff take their daughter, Erastoff throws her off a cliff. Sjostrom and Erastoff escape into the mountains. Many years later, the elderly pair, in their small hut, are starving during a terrible winter (“during which the grass stems trembled under the snow”.) They argue and their love is strained. Finally, Erastoff goes out into the blizzard looking for firewood, Sjostrom follows, and they die in one another’s arms.

Victor Sjostrom is actor and director of this love story of two strong-willed, persevering people who live in a cold. forbidding land. An early product of Swedish cinema.