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

 -  Horror | War  -  25 April 1919 (France)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 694 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

Parents Guide:

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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

Child #1: It's war!
Child #2: What's war?
Child #1: I don't know.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Zombie Evolution (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
effective anti-war film
2 November 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This film by Abel Gance was lost for many years but has now been restored from a number of sources and made available for viewing by the Nederlands Museum. Gance's later silent spectacular Napoleon is rightly revered for its innovation and inventiveness - but is the same true of his war epic, J'accuse?

In three parts, this film is first a conventional love triangle between the tiresome and bullied Edith, her drunken husband Francois, and dreaming poet Jean. But when the great war strikes, it will affect them all in ways they can't imagine.

With some great images, especially in parts one and two, and for the most part, restrained acting, J'accuse is a powerful plea against the waste of war. For a film made ninety years ago, it has a modern feel with numerous close-ups, overlays, and other camera tricks. Although a bit ponderous in places it does not flag and is still extremely watchable, and relevant in a world where war has not yet become a thing of the past.

J'accuse deserves to be regarded highly, and shows Gance to have been a skilled and ahead-of-time filmmaker in the silent era.


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