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The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
(Danish: Olsen-banden, Norwegian: Olsenbanden, German: Die Olsenbande) is a fictional Danish criminal gang in the eponymous comedy film series. The gang's leader is the criminal genius and habitual offender Egon Olsen and his accomplices are Benny and Kjeld (Kjell in Norwegian). The gang members are harmless, extremely rarely target ordinary citizens, and never use violence. A Norwegian version of the film series was also made (a total of 14 films from 1969 to 1999), in most cases based directly on the scripts for the Danish films. Later, starting in 1981, Sweden
Sweden
also produced their own version: Jönssonligan.[1]

Contents

1 Plot 2 Characters 3 International versions 4 Danish films

4.1 Danish cast

5 Animated feature-length Danish films 6 Norwegian films 7 In popular culture

7.1 Norwegian DVDs 7.2 Norwegian cast

8 Unofficial English translation of Danish and Norwegian titles

8.1 Danish films 8.2 Norwegian Films

9 References 10 External links

Plot[edit] Most of the films start with Egon coming out of jail and being enthusiastically welcomed by Benny and Kjeld. The three men will then have a beer together in the living room of Kjeld's dilapidated home in a run-down Valby
Valby
neighbourhood, where Egon will inform his friends of his latest plan, usually (but not always) for making them millionaires. Plans are often two-step plans, where the first heist will get the equipment for the real, second plan. The plans usually feature everyday artefacts such as Lego, party balloons, cigarettes etc., which are then brought together in surprising ways in elaborate and well-timed plans, often including clever social engineering. Bennys main function in the heists, besides get-away-driver, is often as keeper of "The Thing", a metal bottle opener used for manipulating most any machinery. Egon often serves time with lawyers or executives who provide him with the information he needs, such as duty rosters for the national public record office. Egon is also a brilliant safecracker, operating manually, specializing in the fictive "Franz Jäger" brand. Egon's plans often bring the gang into perilously close contact with white-collar criminals from the Danish business (and political) elite. For example, in one episode some well-connected people try to make money out of the so-called "butter mountain", a huge amount of butter bought up and stored by the EEC (now the EU) to keep prices up. Egon Olsen learns about this from a lawyer who is serving prison time, and the gang interferes with the plan to secure the millions for themselves. But as always, Egon – after having succeeded with a genius plan – loses because he underestimates the power and unscrupulousness of these people. For several movies the role of antagonist was filled by CEO Hallandsen of Hallandsen Inc. Egon is usually arrested in the end, for various reasons: scapegoat, bad luck, some completely irrelevant crime, or even turning himself in as a matter of honour. A recurring part of the films is making fun of Danish authorities, especially the police. Superintendent Jensen (Hermansen in Norwegian) to his younger colleague, inspector Holm: "The only thing the police can do when the real big criminals come by is offer them protection!" Jensen incredously uses the recurring exclamation "Bagmændene!" (Behind-men/Big Fishes) to reference the in-joke of powerful players moving outside of the law. In the early episodes, profanity and soft-erotica (scantily-clad women) were more freely used than in later ones, where said content was somewhat watered down to suit younger viewers. Later movies focused on the satirical interplay between Jensen and Holm and Egon and Kjeld, with a frequent outburst of anger from either Olsen or superintendent Jensen. Especially Olsen's long list of slurs are famous, like "social democrats!", "insane woman!" (to Yvonne), "lousy amateurs!", "cowards!", "dog heads!", "porridge peasants!", "sop!", "scumbag!", to name a few. Characters[edit] Recurring characters in the Danish version:

Egon Olsen: Gang leader, expert safecracker, brilliant but short-tempered and occasionally overdramatic Benny Frandsen: Gang member, get-away driver, handles practical stuff and always seem to float Kjeld Jensen: Gang member, tool master, ever nervous and humble, but does on a rare occasion rise to meet any challenge Yvonne: Kjeld's very bossy wife, often with firm plans on how to use the millions from the various plans Børge: Kjeld's son, occasionally an impeccable part of the schemes Harry (a.k.a. Dynamite Harry): Benny's brother, explosives expert (at least in his own opinion) and deeply alcoholic Jensen: Superintendent at Copenhagen Police, somewhat disillusioned and mostly forgotten by the brass in his basement office Holm: Detective with Copenhagen Police, young and with high ambitions, but somewhat naïve Hallandsen: A role with the same actor playing various villains, always on top of the social hierarchy, most often also with international contacts Kongen og Knægten (King and Knight): A confidence trickster and his violent nephew Bøffen (The Beef): Enforcer and muscleman for Hallandsen and others Hansen: Rival gang leader with theme music from Bob le flambeur

International versions[edit] The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
have been made in Norwegian and Swedish (Jönssonligan) versions too. The films differ a bit from each other, but they follow a generally similar formula to the Danish films. The original, Danish films were popular in the former GDR and Eastern Europe, with their satire on the establishment and authorities. The film series also has another character, 'Dynamite Harry', as the little brother of Benny Frandsen, which is also featured on the Norwegian rendition of the episodes – is the demolition expert (although his nerves are very easily shaken due to years of having dealt with explosives and alcohol). Harry made an appearance in six Norwegian films, played by Harald Heide-Steen Jr.. He also appeared in two early Danish Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
films, then played by Preben Kaas. In the Swedish Jönssonligan series Harry showed up in the second film, and became a regular member of the gang from the next installment on, since the actor who played the original member, based on Kjeld, a Finn named Rocky, was fired. In the Swedish version, Egon was replaced by Charles-Ingvar "Sickan" Jönsson, with a slightly different costume and mannerisms, and in later films when the actor Gösta Ekman
Gösta Ekman
got tired of the character, yet other leaders, who never became as popular as "Sickan". Benny's part was taken by "(Ragnar) Vanheden", a small-timer from Stockholm. Danish films[edit]

The Danish Olsen Gang. Left to right: Kjeld, Benny, Yvonne, Egon.

The first thirteen films were directed by Erik Balling, while Tom Hedegaard and Morten Arnfred directed the fourteenth and final Olsen Gang film. The scripts were written by Balling and Henning Bahs, who also worked as a production designer.

English title (Original title) Release date Notes

The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
(Olsen-banden) October 11, 1968

The Olsen Gang in a Fix
The Olsen Gang in a Fix
(Olsen-banden på spanden) October 3, 1969

The Olsen Gang in Jutland
The Olsen Gang in Jutland
(Olsen-banden i Jylland) October 8, 1971

The Olsen Gang's Big Score
The Olsen Gang's Big Score
(Olsen-bandens store kup) October 6, 1972

The Olsen Gang Goes Crazy
The Olsen Gang Goes Crazy
(Olsen-banden går amok) October 5, 1973

The Last Exploits of the Olsen Gang
The Last Exploits of the Olsen Gang
(Olsen-bandens sidste bedrifter) October 4, 1974 This was intended to be the last movie at the time it was made.

The Olsen Gang on the Track
The Olsen Gang on the Track
(Olsen-banden på sporet) September 26, 1975

The Olsen Gang Sees Red
The Olsen Gang Sees Red
(Olsen-banden ser rødt) October 1, 1976 This movie contains the famous showdown scene in which the gang bombs, drills, and hammers its way through the basement of the Royal Danish Theatre in synchronicity with the music of Friedrich Kuhlau's overture to the opera Elverhøj.

The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
Outta Sight (da) (Olsen-banden deruda') September 30, 1977

The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
Goes to War (da) (Olsen-banden går i krig) October 6, 1978

The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
Never Surrenders (da) (Olsen-banden overgiver sig aldrig) October 26, 1979

The Olsen Gang's Escape over the Fence (da) (Olsen-bandens flugt over plankeværket) October 16, 1981

Olsen-banden over alle bjerge (The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
Long Gone) December 26, 1981

The Olsen Gang's Last Trick (Olsen-bandens sidste stik) December 18, 1998 The actor in the role as "Kjeld Jensen", Poul Bundgaard, died while filming the last movie. The actor Tommy Kenter stepped in to fill his role to finish the film. This was hidden through various effects and cover-up techniques.

[2]

Danish cast[edit]

Ove Sprogøe
Ove Sprogøe
as Egon Olsen Morten Grunwald
Morten Grunwald
as Benny Frandsen Poul Bundgaard
Poul Bundgaard
as Kjeld Jensen Tommy Kenter as Kjeld Jensen Kirsten Walther as Yvonne Jensen Jes Holtsø
Jes Holtsø
as Børge Jensen Axel Strøbye as Superintendent of police Jensen Ole Ernst as Police inspector Holm Ove Verner Hansen
Ove Verner Hansen
as Bøffen Preben Kaas as Dynamite-Harry Peter Steen
Peter Steen
as Mortensen

Animated feature-length Danish films[edit]

The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
Gets Polished (2010) The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
in Deep Trouble (2013)

Norwegian films[edit]

Olsenbanden Operasjon Egon (1969) Olsenbanden og Dynamitt-Harry (1970) Olsenbanden tar gull (1972) Olsenbanden og Dynamitt-Harry går amok (1973) Olsenbanden møter Kongen og Knekten (1974) Olsenbandens siste bedrifter (1975) Olsenbanden for full musikk (1976) Olsenbanden og Dynamitt-Harry på sporet (1977) Olsenbanden og Data-Harry sprenger verdensbanken (1978) Olsenbanden mot nye høyder (1979) Olsenbanden gir seg aldri (1981) Olsenbandens aller siste kupp (1982) …men Olsenbanden var ikke død
…men Olsenbanden var ikke død
(1984) Olsenbandens siste stikk (1999)

Several elements recur in the films series. As the Japanese carmaker Toyota
Toyota
was usually the main sponsor of the film series, most cars, including the villain's cars, the security cars, the police cars, the gang's car, civilian cars parked on the sidewalks, etc. was supplied by the company. Models include the Crown as taxis, Toyota
Toyota
Cressida as police cars, Hiace
Hiace
as security vans and money transports, and so on. There have been exceptions, notably Olsenbandens aller siste kupp (The Olsen-Gangs Very Last Coup) from 1982, which was sponsored by Datsun.[citation needed] In popular culture[edit] The popularity of the film series inspired a Norwegian restaurant chain, Egon, with the logo alluding to Egon Olsen's iconic hat and cigar. Håkon Aasnes also drew some comic strips based on the series.[3] Norwegian DVDs[edit]

DVD Cover of the first Norwegian Olsenbanden: from left to right: Benny, Egon, Kjell.

Most of the Norwegian films have been digitally restored. The discs include English & Norwegian Subtitles, 16:9 format and Dolby Digital 1.0 surround sound. DVD Release List:

Olsenbanden Operasjon Egon (27 October 2004) Olsenbanden og Dynamitt-Harry (27 October 2004) Olsenbanden tar gull (27 October 2004) Olsenbanden og Dynamitt-Harry går amok Olsenbanden møter Kongen og Knekten (1 December 2004) Olsenbandens siste bedrifter (1 December 2004) Olsenbanden for full musikk (1 December 2004) Olsenbanden og Dynamitt-Harry på sporet (8 December 2004) Olsenbanden og Data-Harry sprenger verdensbanken (19 January 2005) Olsenbanden mot nye høyder (19 January 2005) Olsenbanden gir seg aldri (19 January 2005) Olsenbandens aller siste kupp (19 January 2005) ...men Olsenbanden var ikke død Olsenbandens siste stikk (1999)

Norwegian cast[edit]

Arve Opsahl
Arve Opsahl
as Egon Olsen Sverre Holm
Sverre Holm
as Benny Fransen Carsten Byhring
Carsten Byhring
as Kjell Jensen Aud Schønemann
Aud Schønemann
as Valborg Jensen Willie Hoel
Willie Hoel
as Bartender Hansen Ove Verner Hansen
Ove Verner Hansen
as Biffen Pål Johannessen as Basse Jensen (appears in eight films) Sverre Wilberg as Superintendent of police Hermansen Øivind Blunck, Oddbjørn Hesjevoll, Ulf Wengård and Anders Hatlo as Police inspector Holm (Blunck appears in five films, and Hesjevoll, Wengård and Hatlo in one film each respectively) Harald Heide-Steen Jr. as Dynamite-Harry

Unofficial English translation of Danish and Norwegian titles[edit]

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Danish films[edit]

Original title Translation

Olsen Banden The Olsen Gang

Olsen Banden på spanden "The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
in Trouble"

Olsen Banden i Jylland "The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
in Jutland"

Olsen Bandens store kup "The Olsen Gang's Grand Burglary"

Olsen Banden går amok "The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
Goes Crazy"

Olsen Bandens sidste bedrifter "The Olsen Gang's Last (Latest) Accomplishments"

Olsen Banden på sporet "The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
on the (Rail) track"

Olsen Banden ser rødt "The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
Snaps (Sees Red)"

Olsen Banden deruda "The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
Full Speed Ahead"

Olsen Banden går i krig "The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
Goes to War"

Olsen Banden overgiver sig aldrig "The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
Never Surrenders"

Olsen Bandens flugt over plankeværket "The Olsen Gang's Escape Over the Fence"

Olsen Banden over alle bjerge "The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
Long Gone"

Olsen Bandens sidste stik "The Olsen Gang's Last Trick" (as in cards) or "Last Sting"

Norwegian Films[edit]

Original title Official English title Translated directly Translated contextually

Olsenbanden: Operasjon Egon

"The Olsen Gang: Operation Egon" "The Olsen Gang: Operation Egon"

Olsenbanden og Dynamitt-Harry

"The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
and Dynamite-Harry" "The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
and Dynamite-Harry"

Olsenbanden tar gull

"The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
Takes Gold" "The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
Wins" (title is a pun, since the gang literally "takes gold" in the movie)

Olsenbanden og Dynamitt-Harry går amok The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
and Dynamite Harry Run Amuck "The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
and Dynamite Harry Run Amuck" "The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
and Dynamite Harry Run Amuck"

Olsenbanden møter Kongen og Knekten

"The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
Meets the King and the Jack" "The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
Meets The King and The Jack" (The King and The Jack being the handles of the movie's villains)

Olsenbandens siste bedrifter

"The Olsen Gang's Last Accomplishments" "The Olsen Gang's Last Accomplishments"

Olsenbanden for full musikk

"The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
for Full Music" "Totally Olsen Gang" (title is a pun, as music plays a rather important part in the movie)

Olsenbanden og Dynamitt-Harry på sporet

"The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
and Dynamite-Harry on the Track" "The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
and Dynamite-Harry on the Track" ("track" here referring to a railroad track. Title is again a pun)

Olsenbanden og Data-Harry sprenger verdensbanken

"The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
and Data-Harry Blow Up the World Bank" "The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
and Computer-Harry Rob the World Bank"

Olsenbanden og Dynamitt-Harry mot nye høyder

"The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
and Dynamite-Harry Towards New Heights" "The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
and Dynamite-Harry Towards New Heights"

Olsenbanden gir seg aldri

"The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
Never Gives Up" "The Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
Never Gives Up"

Olsenbandens aller siste kupp

"The Olsen Gang's Very Last Coup" "The Olsen Gang's Very Last Burglary"

...men Olsenbanden var ikke død

"...But the Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
Wasn't Dead" "The Return of the Olsen Gang"

Olsenbandens siste stikk

"The Olsen Gang's Last Match" "The Olsen Gang's Last Trick" (as in cards) or "Last Sting"

References[edit]

^ Nicholas Wennö (13 January 2015). "Ny proffsig Jönssonliga vill lämna farsen" (in Swedish). Dagens nyheter. Retrieved 18 September 2016.  ^ Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Cinema. Scarecrow Press. 31 August 2012. pp. 300–. ISBN 978-0-8108-5524-3.  ^ https://www.lambiek.net/artists/a/aasnes_h.htm

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Olsen-banden.

Olsenbandenfanclub Deutschland ( Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
Fan Club Germany) Olsenbande-Drehorte ( Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
Film-Locations) German Olsen Gang
Olsen Gang
Fansite Some of the original Danish trailers IMDB on the original Danish film

v t e

Olsen Gang

Characters

Egon Olsen Benny Frandsen Kjeld Jensen Yvonne Jensen Børge Jensen Dynamit-Harry Kriminalkommissær Jensen Bøffen

Danish films

Olsen-banden på spanden i Jylland store kup går amok sidste bedrifter på sporet ser rødt deruda' går i krig overgiver sig aldrig flugt over plankeværket over alle bjerge sidste stik

Norwegian films

Operasjon Egon og Dynamitt-Harry tar gull og Dynamitt-Harry går amok møter Kongen & Knekten siste bedrifter for full musikk og Dynamitt-Harry på sporet og Data-Harry sprenger verdensbanken mot nye høyder gir seg aldri aller siste kupp var ikke død siste stikk

Category

v t e

Jönssonligan

Original series

Varning för Jönssonligan Jönssonligan och Dynamit-Harry Jönssonligan får guldfeber Jönssonligan dyker upp igen Jönssonligan på Mallorca Jönssonligan och den svarta diamanten Jönssonligans största kupp Jönssonligan spelar högt

Lilla Jönssonligan films

Lilla Jönssonligan och cornflakeskuppen (1996) Lilla Jönssonligan på styva linan (1997) Lilla Jönssonligan på kollo (2004) Lilla Jönssonligan och stjärnkuppen (2006)

Other

Jönssonligan – Den perfekta stöten

Related

Olsen Gang

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