IMDb > Joan the Woman (1916)
Joan the Woman
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Joan the Woman (1916) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Release Date:
25 December 1916 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Based on the life of the immortal Joan of Arc
Plot:
A WWI English officer is inspired the night before a dangerous mission by a vision of Joan of Arc, whose story he relives. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
(2 articles)
Top Movies of the Teens
 (From Alt Film Guide. 26 March 2013, 7:33 PM, PDT)

Madonna's W.E. Reviews: Movie Lambasted at Venice Film Festival
 (From Alt Film Guide. 1 September 2011, 12:11 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
"I bring thee the help of the King of Heaven" See more (17 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Geraldine Farrar ... Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc)
Raymond Hatton ... Charles VII
Hobart Bosworth ... Gen. La Hire
Theodore Roberts ... Cauchon

Wallace Reid ... Eric Trent 1431 / Eric Trent 1917
Charles Clary ... La Tremouille
James Neill ... Laxart

Tully Marshall ... L'Oiseleur
Lawrence Peyton ... Gaspard
Horace B. Carpenter ... Jacques d'Arc
Cleo Ridgely ... The king's favorite
Lillian Leighton ... Isambeau

Marjorie Daw ... Katherine
Ernest Joy ... Robert de Beaudricourt
John Oaker ... Jean de Metz
Hugo B. Koch ... Duke of Burgundy
William Conklin ... John of Luxembourg
Walter Long ... The executioner
William Elmer ... Guy Townes (as Billy Elmer)
Emilius Jorgensen ... Michael

Donald Crisp
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jack Hoxie (as Hart Hoxie)
Lucien Littlefield

Ramon Novarro ... Starving Peasant (as Ramon Samaniegos)
Nigel De Brulier ... Man at trial (uncredited)

Jack Holt ... (uncredited)
Fred Kohler ... L'Oiseleur's henchman (uncredited)

Directed by
Cecil B. DeMille 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
William C. de Mille 
Jeanie Macpherson  scenario

Produced by
Cecil B. DeMille .... producer
 
Original Music by
William Furst 
 
Cinematography by
Alvin Wyckoff 
 
Film Editing by
Cecil B. DeMille 
 
Art Direction by
Wilfred Buckland 
 
Stunts
Pansy Perry .... stunt double: Geraldine Farrar (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
Germany:100 min | Germany:138 min (2003) | USA:138 min
Country:
Color:
Color (Handschiegel Color) | Black and White
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
First film to use the Handschiegl Color Process.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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 »
Quotes:
Jeanne d'Arc:No sword once drawn for France - shall be thrown down!See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Vraie Jeanne, fausse Jeanne (2008) (TV)See more »

FAQ

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
"I bring thee the help of the King of Heaven", 29 August 2008
Author: Steffi_P from Ruritania

Joan The Woman was Cecil B DeMille's first epic, the genre that today he is best remembered for, although at this point it was more the case that was hopping on a band wagon. After the massive success of Italian "super production" Cabiria, DW Griffith had made Intolerance and Thomas Ince (forgotten today but a big name at the time) did a World War epic called Civilization. In 1916, all the big names were doing epics, and DeMille, now established as Paramount's star filmmaker, wasn't going to be the one to miss out.

Joan The Woman was something like De Mille's fourth or fifth collaboration with Jeanie Macpherson. Typically of Macpherson it has a tight storyline somewhat marred by some rather odd ideas. The framing story, set in war-torn Europe, is apparently there to give the tale some contemporary relevance, and it may be in part an Intolerance-inspired blending of narratives in different historic periods. However on MacPherson's part it seems to be a chance to explore her interest in reincarnation. So we get this daft little story about a British soldier who was in a past life the man who betrayed Joan, and now has to go and sacrifice himself in battle to repay the debt. An officer holds up a bomb as if it were the catch of the day – "I need one of you chaps to go and drop this in the German trench. Oh and by the way it's a suicide mission, so think carefully before you volunteer" The whole thing looks like something out of Blackadder Goes Forth.

This is DeMille though, and it's not about the daft plot – it's about the big picture. De Mille's deftness at handling crowd scenes had been apparent since his earliest films, but here he really gets to use that skill to its full potential. The main battle sequence is as spectacular as those in Intolerance, but it is also convincing. DeMille apparently set the two opposing armies of extras genuine objectives – hence we get a very real sense of desperation and determination. He makes good use of high angles looking down on the action – God's-eye-views, perhaps. DeMille also builds up tension to the clash of armies with a mighty cavalry charge across the screen, and in this we see the seeds of the equivalent sequences in DeMille's The Crusades (1935) Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky and Olivier's Henry V, all of which used and developed the opening cavalry charge to add excitement to battle scenes.

DeMille continues to progress well with his mastery of visual grammar. As per usual in his silent pictures, he makes some use of "Rembrandt lighting" – well lit actors against dark backgrounds. Here however he achieves a similar effect, albeit it with light and dark reversed, with clouds of dust or smoke framing the characters as silhouettes. Also much in evidence here is DeMille's use of images to imply sound – for example a shot of church bells ringing, followed by a shot of Joan reacting to the sound conveys narrative (and in this case character information) without resorting to intertitles. DeMille knows that he doesn't necessarily have to throw in a title every time a character opens their mouth, and as often as possible keeps a smooth flow of meaningful images. The romantic scenes between Geraldine Farrar and Wallace Reid are particularly effective as a result. Having said that, there is perhaps a bit too much pompous theatrical gesturing from the actors, which I suppose goes hand-in-hand with the rather unnecessary use of "thees" and "thous" in the titles.

It's perhaps rather appropriate that, as well as being the first time DeMille brought epic spectacle to the fore, this is also his first story to contain a heavy dose of religious piety. For DeMille, as we can see here, God is a showman, a god of miracles, visions and righteous destruction. The incredibly egomaniacal DeMille probably saw himself as a similar figure, dazzling the populace and hammering home his messages with spectacle and special effects. So, with Joan The Woman, we see the beginnings of the DeMille who would one day part the red sea and resurrect Jesus on the silver screen.

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