For starters, IMDb shows the wrong poster/different version for this film and should change it. I recently bought a subtitled DVD from a website featuring old and rare foreign films. Video/audio quality varies but the prices are good. It's an interesting film but historically inaccurate. Because this film was made in 1935, keep in mind it's an anti-French and anti-British propaganda piece disguised as a historical epic. Check out Grahame Greene's contemporary review where he compares the performance of Gustav Grundgens(who the novel and film 'Mephisto' is based on)as the French King to Hitler: 'The real hero is Charles VII with his Nazi mentality, his belief in the nobility of treachery for the sake of the nation. The purge of 30 June and the liquidation of Tremouille, the burning Reichstag and the pyre in Rouen market-place - these political parallels are heavily underlined. The direction is terribly sincere, conveying a kind of blond and shaved admiration for lonely dictators who have been forced to eliminate their allies.'
This was a big UFA production for its time(good music too)and it did well because of the subject matter. It's worth watching for the performances of famous actors although the stress on political intrigue sometimes makes Joan a secondary character. This is a good history lesson on the uses of propaganda although you can't help feel sympathetic for the title character who becomes a 'tool' and victim of the crafty king. The DVD's video quality is acceptable and could have been better but who knows if there is a better copy out there.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?