The Varg Veum series (books by Gunnar Staalesen)

The movies based on Gunnar Staalesen's series of books about the Bergen private eye Varg Veum are great. The movies are Norwegian with English subtitles. So far 2 sets of DVD's have been released.

Please note that the movies are in Non-USA format, and that you need a DVD-player that can accommodate the format (or can play the movies from a PC!).

Varg Veum Box 1 - 3-DVD Set (Bitter Flowers/Sleeping Beauty/Yours Until Death)

Varg Veum 1, DVD

These movies are based on the books with the original titles Bitre blomster, Tornerose, and Din til døden.

Format: NON-USA, PAL, Region 2.You need multi-region PAL/NTSC DVD player to view it in USA/Canada.

LANGUAGES: Norwegian and Danish
Subtitles: English, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish
Format: WIDESCREEN (1.78:1)
Special: 3-DVD Box Set with Interactive Menu and Scene Access.

Actors: Anders Dale, Anders Hove, Bjørn Floberg, Endre Hellestveit, Kathrine Fagerland
Directors: Erik Richter Strand, Ulrik Imtiaz Rolfsen

Short synopses:

Bitter Flowers (Bitre blomster) is about a man who vanishes without a trace. His lover, a married, successful politician, discreetly contacts PI Varg Veum for assistance. Varg finds her lover murdered, and the politician's husband is arrested for the murder. However, Varg accuses the police of judicial murder, and gets involved in an international murder case branching out far beyond the Norwegian borders, with characters who would not shy away from any methods.

Yours Until Death (Din til døden): Here Varg Veum finds himself in the midst of a divorce with ramifications outside of the ordinary, ranging from car theft, murder, jealousy and robbery. The film is brilliantly set off, with some very skillful plot twists early on (including a fine scene inside a garage and an excellent segment with Seim, Mestad, Bergmann and Lullau). There is a lot more style and flair in the conduction of Din til døden than in the two prior films, and Richter Strand shows a delicate blend of tones throughout the film's different parts. Pleasing is also the increasingly tightknit and wonderfully acted relationship between Veum and Hamre. Seim and Floberg are absolutely magnetic together, and the subdued ending does wonders to an otherwise somewhat predictable final clear-up.

Varg Veum Box 2 - 3-DVD Set (Fallen Angels/Kvinnen i kjøleskapet/Begravde Hunder)

All the technical specifications are the same as for box set I.

Actors: Anna Bache-Wiig, Bjørn Floberg, Endre Hellestveit, Fridtjov Såheim, Iram Haq
Directors: Alexander Eik, Morten Tyldum

Short synopses:

Fallen Angels: This is the second Varg Veum DVD cinema film in the series about the private investigator Varg Veum. A chance meeting with an old class mate takes Varg Veum back in time to the popular Bergen rock band Angel Anatomy in the late 1980's. Then a murder occurs, and Veum starts unraveling a thread leading him all the way back to his own childhood and adolescence.

The feature film of the VARG VEUM TV Series, FALLEN ANGELS has won two of the most prestigious prizes at the Norwegian AMANDA awards at the Norwegian Film Festival in Haugesund.

Trond Espen Seim was awarded as best male actor for his role as Varg Veum whereas Siv Rajendram Eliassen and Thomas Moldestad were awarded for best screenplay for FALLEN ANGELS. The two awards were the result of six nominations for best directing, best photo, best supporting male & female actor. -- News clip about this movie

Kvinnen i kjøleskapet: (The Woman in the Refrigerator) This is well-paced and cleverly constructed installment in the Norwegian detective series about Varg Veum. This time he has to deal with half a woman's body in a refrigerator and a suspicious disappearance of a brilliant process engineer in the lucrative oil business. Trond Espen Seim propels the plot forward with unassuming relentlessness and Bjørn Floberg provides witty and implicit support by his side. Alexander Eik's film is notable for a strong and emotive performance from Christian Rubeck and real human destinies in the midst of the traditional crime denouement, but unfortunately there are also the odd overdone plot twists and some overly recognizable narrative development. With that said, there is no doubt that director Eik handles it all elegantly. And he also shoots the most scenic Veum so far.


Ernst Tyler (1/17/2011):

Hail Trond! The actor who plays Varg Veum is absolutely brilliant in his nuances and subtle facial and body langauge plus he is so very handsome and as his name incidates he is a Blackwolf in the holies of holies and therefore open to anyone who wants to attack him.

Are all Norwegian actors of his calibre and his stunning attractiveness? I am waiting for the films I read that are being made now. I will certianly buy them all. The films in Norwegian are so much more authentic than watching English speaking people "pretend" to be Norwegian or Swedish (as in Wallander). Anyone watching the English language versions(and I have) feel the silliness of British actors trying to make the viewer feel the actors are Swedish or Norwegians. Ola Rapace and Trond are far more sexy and talented than English and American "heartrobs". Please bring Ola Rapace "back to life" as was done on "Dallas" in a dream sequence he could have "died" but when the "dream" is over there is good old Stefan back to life taking Wallander's place as the "Kung". Please don't let anything happen to Trond as Varg Veum.


Ernst: Trond Espen Seim is great as Varg Veum. Regarding Kurt Wallander and Swedish: You can get a Swedish version of Wallander if you prefer. Here is our review of the Swedish Wallander series - it is great!

See our Gunnar Staalesen page as well!
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