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 »
DeMille's JOAN THE WOMAN would be an extraordinary film of any silent year but the fact that it was made when feature films were only two years old is staggering. Its companion epics, BIRTH OF A NATION and INTOLERANCE (1915, 1916 respectively) seem crude next to it. The narrative flows with complete audience absorption for two hours and eighteen minutes. I can only add to the praise of all the reviews on IMDB and Amazon. The print is the crispest and clearest of any restoration I've seen and the tinting is exemplary, especially the hand tinted flames of the final conflagration - one would swear we were watching early Technicolor but that event was still a year away. Farrar is fine in the lead with only a few exaggerated postures. This would certainly have given INTOLERANCE a run for its money had there been Oscars then, also considering this made money but the latter flopped at the boxoffice. Certainly nods for Best Film, Actress, Direction, Cinematography and Editing are in order.
The film is divided into two acts with the first ending neatly at 75 minutes into the feature.
The KINO restoration is well worth the price - do yourself a great favor and add it to your video library.
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