MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,611 this week

The Life of Emile Zola (1937)

 -  Biography | Drama  -  2 October 1937 (USA)
7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 3,921 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 29 critic

The biopic of the famous French muckraking writer and his involvement in fighting the injustice of the Dreyfuss Affair.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 4 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Alpha House Premieres Today

All ten episodes of the second season of "Alpha House" are available starting today. Watch them now, only on Prime Instant Video.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 48 titles
created 01 Sep 2011
 
a list of 37 titles
created 03 May 2012
 
a list of 43 titles
created 21 Jun 2012
 
a list of 36 titles
created 28 May 2013
 
a list of 35 images
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Life of Emile Zola (1937)

The Life of Emile Zola (1937) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Life of Emile Zola.

User Polls

Won 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Cimarron (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A newspaper editor settles in an Oklahoma boom town with his reluctant wife at the end of the nineteenth century.

Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Richard Dix, Irene Dunne, Estelle Taylor
Certificate: Passed Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Harriet and Queenie Mahoney, a vaudeville act, come to Broadway, where their friend Eddie Kerns needs them for his number in one of Francis Zanfield's shows. Eddie was in love with Harriet,... See full summary »

Director: Harry Beaumont
Stars: Bessie Love, Anita Page, Charles King
Going My Way (1944)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Youthful Father Chuck O'Malley led a colorful life of sports, song, and romance before joining the Roman Catholic clergy, but his level gaze and twinkling eyes make it clear that he knows ... See full summary »

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald, Frank McHugh
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The biography of the pioneering French microbiologist who helped revolutionize agriculture and medicine.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Paul Muni, Josephine Hutchinson, Anita Louise
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Fletcher Christian successfully leads a revolt against the ruthless Captain Bligh on the HMS Bounty. However, Bligh returns one year later, hell bent on avenging his captors.

Director: Frank Lloyd
Stars: Charles Laughton, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The rise and fall of a corrupt politician, who makes his friends richer and retains power by dint of a populist appeal.

Director: Robert Rossen
Stars: Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, Joanne Dru
Grand Hotel I (1932)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A group of very different individuals staying at a luxurious hotel in Berlin deal with each of their respective dramas.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A man from a family of rich snobs becomes engaged to a woman from a good-natured but decidedly eccentric family.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore
Wings (1927)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Two young men, one rich, one middle class, who are in love with the same woman, become fighter pilots in World War I.

Directors: William A. Wellman, Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast
Stars: Clara Bow, Charles 'Buddy' Rogers, Richard Arlen
Mrs. Miniver (1942)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A British family struggles to survive the first months of World War II.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A reporter pretends to be Jewish in order to cover a story on anti-Semitism, and personally discovers the true depths of bigotry and hatred.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, John Garfield
Tom Jones (1963)
Adventure | Comedy | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In eighteenth century England, "first cousins" Tom Jones and Master Blifil grew up together in privilege in the western countryside, but could not be more different in nature. Tom, the ... See full summary »

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Albert Finney, Susannah York, George Devine
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Erin O'Brien-Moore ...
Nana (as Erin O'Brien Moore)
...
Charpentier
Henry O'Neill ...
Morris Carnovsky ...
...
...
Commander of Paris
Robert Barrat ...
Vladimir Sokoloff ...
...
...
Edit

Storyline

Fictionalized account of the life of famed French author Emile Zola. As portrayed in the film, he was a penniless writer sharing an apartment in Paris with painter Paul Cezanne when he finally wrote a best-seller, Nana. He has always had difficulty holding onto a job as he is quite outspoken, being warned on several occasions by the public prosecutor that he risks charges if he does not temper his writings. The bulk of the film deals with his involvement in the case of Captain Alfred Dreyfus who was falsely convicted of giving secret military information to the Germans and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devils Island. Antisemitism played an important role in the real-life case but is hardly mentioned in the film. Even after the military found definitive evidence that Dreyfus was innocent, the army decided to cover it up rather than face the scandal of having arbitrarily convicted the wrong man. Zola's famous letter, J'Accuse (I Accuse), led to his own trial for libel where he was ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He'll Hold You In Silence As Deep As Your Emotions ! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 October 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Emile Zolas liv  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

First shown on New York television 9 March 1958 on WCBS Channel 2. See more »

Goofs

When Erin O'Brien-Moore as Nana comes into the café from the snow, the artificial snow stays on her clothes long after real snow would have melted, then suddenly in a second it disappears with the next cut. See more »

Quotes

Paul Cezanne: [Farewell goodbye to Zola] I won't write, but I'll remember.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Voice That Thrilled the World (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(1792) (uncredited)
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Variations often in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
It has great passion, deep commitments, love, great music, and we get to know a bit more about French literature.
30 May 1999 | by (US) – See all my reviews

William Dieterle directed this classic biography and was nominated for an Oscar for his work. This movie had ten Oscar nominations, and won best picture in 1938. Paul Muni (The Last Angry Man) was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Émile Zola, one of the foremost writers in France. Zola and his best friend and confident painter Paul Cezanne, played by Russian born actor Vladimir Sokoloff (Taras Bulba, For Whom The Bell Tolls), who attend the Moscow Academy of Dramatic Art. The story takes place in Paris in 1862. Paul Cezanne and Émile Zola were friends when both were starting their careers. Through ups and downs Zola became financially successful long before Cezanne. He was married and had a successful career as an author. Paul Cezanne then decided to live in the country far away from the city, and told Zola not to be part of the establishment but to fight for truth and justice again. Émile Zola is living comfortable and even getting fat, and is about to became a member of the French Academy for the utmost writers, and to get honored by the Nobel society. He is approached by Lucie Dreyfus, played by Gale Sondergaard (Anna and the King of Siam), whose husband was unjustly court martialed and sent to Devil's Island (Papillion's prison home) because he was accused of betraying his country by disclosing military secrets. Mr. Dreyfuss' case is one of those passionate cases where anti-Semitism is also an issue. It is unbelievable that this specially inhumane trial took place in France, nation for Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality. That what Zola was fighting for.

The music by Max Steiner is beautiful. He was also nominated for an Oscar for best music score. Anatole France is also part of the story. My favorite scenes: the folding umbrellas, Zola getting his first pay check as a best seller author, the conversations between Zola and Paul Cezanne. The determination of Ms. Dreyfuss and she goes to talk to Zola, her last hope. My favorite quotes: "There are times when the most courageous thing is to be cowardly". This is a great biography. It is a Schindler's list type of story! It has great passion, deep commitments, love, great music, and we get to know a bit more about French literature. Thanks to my dad, who was passionate for literature and majored in languages, I was brought up with a library of books where one could find the internationally acclaimed classics. Émile Zola's works were among dad's favorite. That was what made me purchase the tape. I highly recommend it. You can learn a lot from this movie!


24 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The best from the first 10 Oscar winners mat-michalski
When Dreyfus is stripped of his rank... Hypatia42
Donald Crisp bkutach
Movie Poster jimpoz
Movie Review wybaron
Casting against the grain oldblackandwhite
Discuss The Life of Emile Zola (1937) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?