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In the Fifteenth Century, France is a defeated and ruined nation after the One Hundred Years War against England. The fourteen years old farm girl Joan of Arc claims to hear voices from ... See full summary »
Francis L. Sullivan
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John Trent, a World War I British officer, finds an ancient sword in his trench bunker just prior to volunteering for what will amount to a suicide mission the next day. That night he is visited by the spirit of Joan of Arc and is transported back to the 15th Century. Joan's career begins when, as a peasant girl, she meets Trent's ancestor, also an English soldier, fighting for the Burgundians. After Trent is captured, Joan is brought to the attention of the beleaguered Dauphin, heir to the French throne, who cannot be crowned because the English hold the royal city of Orleans. The weak Dauphin is impressed by her vision and apparently heaven-sent powers which border on the supernatural and ultimately gives her command of the armies. She is victorious at Orleans and the new King is crowned. Joan resists Trent's entreaties of love and continues her struggle to free the rest of her country from English occupation. Sinister forces, both English and French, conspire against her and she is... Written by
Gabe Taverney (email@example.com)
First film to use the Handschiegl Color Process. See more »
When Trent discovers the sword, he holds the hilt in his right hand. In the insert close-up the hilt is in his left hand. In the cutback, it has returned to the right. (In fact, the insert shot has been spliced in upside-down.) See more »
The problem with Joan of Arc is that she was only seventeen when her story began.Geraldine Farrar was 25 and she was obviously too old for the part.Most of the versions to come had the same problem:to name but three,Ingrid Bergman in Fleming's epic,or MIchèle MOrgan in Joan's native country or even Falconetti in Dreyer's masterpiece were not physically the maid of Orleans .Otto Preminger was right when he cast a nineteen years old Jean Seberg.
This is minor quibble .De Mille' s movie is a good,nay excellent epic. It was a propaganda movie,cause it featured a "modern" prologue and an epilogue which took place in the tranches during WW1.DeMille would continue in that vein in his "ten commandment" (1923) where a long biblical part was followed by a "realistic" contemporary tale.But propaganda movie does not mean bad movie!Cecil Blunt de Mille was a storyteller extraordinaire,only equaled in the silent era by David Wark Griffith.
Joan's adventures are half history (The meeting with the queen in Chinon,my own native town ,the trial ,Jean de Luxembourg selling Joan)half fictionalized history: Eric de Trent appears at the beginning of Joan's epic ,in Domremy,we find him back in Orleans,Compiègne,Rouen,all along the way,which has nothing to do with French history.Ditto for the king's failed abdication just when Joan is in the castle ,or worse the poisoned wine (by Bishop Pierre Cauchon,no less.Eric de TRent looks like an alter ego of Gilles de Retz (or Rais) -not present in the movie- who reportedly was in love with Joan and who ,becoming mad after her death ,buggered and killed lots of children (the legend made him Blue Beard).
This is a very well told story;La Tremouille's despicable role -he is referred to as "the spider" ,I have not noticed his name in the lines- is not passed over in silence;the battles in Orleans are better than ,say,the Lara Croftesque ones depicted by Luc Besson's recent "the messenger" ;the martyrdom in Rouen where De Mille makes an unusually inventive use of color for the fire.All the lines are in Middle -Ages English :funny how ,since William the Conqueror,many French and English words look like each other (coward=couard ,old French for "lâche" ).Sentences from the trial are often authentic.
French's honor!This "Joan of Arc" is one of the best!
Like this? Try these:
"La Merveilleuse HIstoire de Jeanne D'Arc" Marc(o) De Gastyne,1928 "La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc " Carl Dreyer 1928 "Joan of Arc " Victor Fleming 1948 "Destinées" Jean Delannoy 1953 (one sketch) "Giovanna d'Arco al rogo" Roberto Rosselini,1954 "Saint Joan" Otto Preminger 1957 "Procès de Jeanne D'Arc" Robert Bresson 1962
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