Edith Carlmar (NO)

Film director. Born in 1911, died in 2003. Was a central feature film director from the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s.

1911 - 2003

She was baptized Edith Mary Johanne Mathisen and grew up in Oslo. At 15 she debuted as a dancer in a revue at Kongshavn Bad in 1926. That same year she met Otto Carlmar, an energetic all-rounder on the Oslo entertainment scene as an impresario, scriptwriter, secretary and finance director at various theatres in the Norwegian capital. The two married in 1930.

Edith Carlmar began working at Oslo Nye Teater (then Det Nye Teater) in 1933, first in an administrative post with minor duties on the stage. She made her official acting debut in 1936, and remained active as a theatre actor until 1952. Alongside her theatre work she became involved in film production in 1939, when she found a job as director’s assistant on the Tancred Ibsen film Gjest Baardsen. She would work with Tancred Ibsen several times in the years prior to her directorial debut, and she thought of Ibsen as her greatest teacher in the world of film.

Carlmar was executive producer on several films in the 1940s, and after establishing Carlmar Film with her husband she made her directorial debut with Death is a Caress/Døden er et kjærtegn (1949). It was a remarkable film for its time, and is now considered a true Norwegian film classic.

Carlmar directed nine more feature films, most with Otto Carlmar in the capacity of producer and scriptwriter. She also made a series of short films up to 1964. In its early years, Carlmar Film focused on the problems in society at the time, such as mental health in Skadeskutt (1951), substance abuse in Ung frue forsvunnet (1953) and post-war cramped quarters in Aldri annet enn bråk (1954). She thought of this title as the favourite of her own films.

As time moved on, the company’s films gradually moved into lighter entertainment, as in its biggest audience success Fjols til fjells (1957). In the final feature film, The Wayward Girl/Ung flukt (1959), which starred Liv Ullmann in her first lead role, the Carlmars found a form that combined subtle drama with broad audience appeal.

Edith Carlmar was not active as a director after 1964, and she worked completely outside of film and theatre for many years. In her twilight years, she appeared as an actor in film and television, in notable supporting roles.

Bent Kvalvik
(translated by Matt Bibby)

Basic info

Main profession: Director
Born: 1911
Died: 2003
Active: 1926-2003


Bak kulissene (1964)
Ung flukt (1959)
Lån meg din kone (1958)
Fjols til fjells (1957)
Slalåm under himmelen (1957)
På solsiden (1956)
Bedre enn sitt rykte (1955)
Aldri annet enn bråk (1954)
Oslo bymuseum (1954)
Kirker i Oslo (1954)
Sonja! (1953)
Vann og kloakk (1953)
Langåra – et sommerparadis (1953)
Ung frue forsvunnet (1953)
Skadeskutt (1951)
Litt om boka gjennom 100 år (1951)
Døden er et kjærtegn (1949)

Bak kulissene (1964)

Den hemmelighetsfulle leiligheten (1948)
Vigdis (1943)
Hansen og Hansen (1941)

Det ække te å tru (1942)
Bastard (1940)

Tørres Snørtevold (1940)

Et spøkelse forelsker seg (1946)

Gjest Baardsen (1939)

Kristin Lavransdatter (1995)

Elskede Poona (2003; tv-serie)
Brigaden (2003; tv-serie)
Out of order (1997)
Gåten Knut Hamsun (1996)
Asylet (1996; tv-serie)
Flukten fra Bjørkelund (1995)
Bare kødd (1995)
Gaven (1995; tv-film)
Peer Gynt (1993; tv-film)
Giftige løgner (1992)
Svampe (1990)
Olsenbanden møter kongen og knekten (1974)
Jentespranget (1973)
Freske fraspark (1963)
Nå gjør vi så – Husmorfilmen 1962 (1962)
Fjols til fjells (1957)
Fiskerlivets farer eller Et drama på havet (1954)
Ung frue forsvunnet (1953)
Skadeskutt (1951)
Den hemmelighetsfulle leiligheten (1948)
Vigdis (1943)
På vippen (1937)

Read more about the films at Svensk Filmdatabas (SE)


2001: Norsk filmforbunds ærespris
1994: Amandas ærespris

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