A Riveting Post-War Tale of Greed and Corruption

Arrow Films Release The Spider on DVD

Synopsis: Copenhagen 1949. When young, idealistic journalist Bjarne Madsen receives a tip-off about organised crime and black marketeering on a grand scale he decides to unravel the threads of the extensive network and work his way to the “Spider” himself. A highly esteemed crime reporter tries to dissuade him, but Bjarne is fearless—even when it transpires that there may be links from the Copenhagen underworld leading to the top echelons of the police force.

Release Date: 15th June 2015
Format: DVD
Starring: Jacob Cedergren, Stine Stengade, Lars Mikkelsen, Bent Mejding, Lars Bom, Birthe Neumann
Directed by: Ole Christian Madsen

Review: Titled Edderkoppen in its native Denmark, The Spider is loosely based on a true criminal case that occurred right after the war, making the tale all the more intriguing. Managing to keep the story briskly paced throughout its 6-hour runtime, director Ole Christian Madsen does a good job with his period storytelling, helped by using fantastic sets and costumes.

Part one of this six-part subtitled mini-series, introduces us to lead character, Bjarne, a young reporter, played by Jacob Cedergren. Beyond the initial case Bjarne starts off investigating, we’re witness to a double homicide. Eventually, Bjarne’s older wayward brother Ole (Lars Mikkelsen) arrives back from the US to open up a hip new American-style jazz club in Copenhagen. This is when things begin to get really interesting, and the story becomes addictive. The lovely Lisbeth Gordan (Stine Stengade) becomes the object of Bjarne’s desire. But she’s also the daughter of the crooked police chief who’s under investigation by Bjarne for his involvement in the blackmarket. By the end of part three, I couldn’t stop watching until the series had concluded.

The pristine period setting really set this mini-series above more expensive and modern fare that are being produced in Hollywood, by doing it better. The acting is also first-rate, with Lars Mikkelsen chewing the scenery every chance he gets. If the name of director Ole Christian Madsen sounds familiar, it’s because he’s been helming the popular TV show, Banshee. The Spider is a mini-series TV crime fans will want to see.

by Ed Blackadder

Grade: B


You can buy The Spider on DVD here.