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I Accuse (1919)
"J'accuse!" (original title)

 -  Horror | War  -  25 April 1919 (France)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 673 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 14 critic

The story of two men, one married, the other the lover of the other's wife, who meet in the trenches of the First World War, and how their tale becomes a microcosm for the horrors of war.

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Title: I Accuse (1919)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Romuald Joubé ...
Séverin-Mars ...
Maryse Dauvray ...
Maxime Desjardins ...
Maria Lazare
Angèle Guys ...
Angele
Mancini ...
Jean's Mother
Elizabeth Nizan
Pierre Danis
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Blaise Cendrars
Paul Duc ...
Orphan
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Storyline

The story of two men, one married, the other the lover of the other's wife, who meet in the trenches of the First World War, and how their tale becomes a microcosm for the horrors of war. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Horror | War

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Release Date:

25 April 1919 (France)  »

Also Known As:

I Accuse  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Abel Gance managed to secure the enthusiastic support of the wartime French government by presenting this anti-war classic to the relevant officials as a fervently patriotic film. Not until an official watching French soldiers form ranks to spell out the film title for the opening credits did anyone in the French government bother to ask who or what the film accused. Gance's answer: "The war and its stupidity." See more »

Quotes

Title Card: Chance does not like secrets.
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Connections

Featured in Historia del cine: Epoca muda (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Classic
25 June 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

J'Accuse! (1919)

*** (out of 4)

The French masters 166-minute epic tells the story of two soldiers, Francois (Severin-Mars) and Jean (Romuald Joube), both in love with the same woman but she is married to the much older Francois but has an affair with Jean. This is very impressive film from French director Gance but I think it falls short compared to his two classic epics that would follow this one. I think this films biggest problem is its running time, which seems a tad bit too long especially a few of the talking scenes, which run on and on. On the technical side this film is nearly flawless with Gance taking the influence of Griffith and really pushing it to a new level. The most impressive thing in the film are the amazing war scenes, which are downright brilliant and they really make you feel as if you are a part of the action. The scenes with the men in the trenches contain some great atmosphere and the sense of dread runs throughout these scenes. The most famous sequence in the film, and in film history, is the "March of the Dead" sequence, which takes nearly twenty-minutes and comes towards the end of the movie. This is certainly one of the most eerie and haunting sequences in film history and the main reason this anti-war film is still remembered today. The way Gance points the finger at the folks who weren't in the war and either living it up having fun or making money off the war, comes off very creepy and the message is certainly right there on the screen. The effects used to show the dead walking are very well done and the atmosphere here is so thick that you'll feel as if you can feel them walking towards you. The performances are all very good with Mars and Joube really sticking out. As I said, I think the film runs a tad bit too long but this is still a very impressive film with one of the greatest sequences in film history.


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