MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 6,790 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 3,798 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 28 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

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 47 titles
created 28 Sep 2010
 
TCM
a list of 28 titles
created 07 Mar 2012
 
a list of 47 titles
created 15 Jul 2012
 
a list of 33 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 43 titles
created 2 weeks 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 6.6/10 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
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
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
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Robert Shaw
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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An aspiring journalist's story of his aged uncle doctor leads to the uncle's life being profiled on TV.

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: Paul Muni, David Wayne, Betsy Palmer
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
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
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of a farmer in China: a story of humility and bravery. His father gives Wang Lung a freed slave as wife. By diligence and frugality the two manage to enlarge their property. But ... See full summary »

Directors: Sidney Franklin, Victor Fleming, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Paul Muni, Luise Rainer, Walter Connolly
Black Fury (1935)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An immigrant coal miner finds himself in the middle of a bitter labor dispute between the workers and the mine owners.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Paul Muni, Karen Morley, William Gargan
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:

Here Is True Greatness ! 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

Paul Muni's finest moment in the film is probably the famous six minute courtroom speech. He had to do multiple takes of this crucial scene. Upon completion, he received a standing ovation from the cast and crew. 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

Émile Zola: [reading from his letter "I Accuse"] I shall tell the truth. Because if I did not, my nights would be haunted by the spectre of an innocent man expiating under the most frightful torture a crime he never committed.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Lux Video Theatre: The Life of Emile Zola (1955) 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

 
A Wonderful Life of Emile Zola ****
12 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Marvelous historical biography of Emile Zola, splendidly played by Paul Muni.

Always for the poor person, Zola immerses himself in the Dreyfus Affair. Count Esterhazy, the guilty person, is successfully able to frame Dreyfus for passing secrets to the enemy during the Franco-Prussian War. What hurts the most is that Dreyfus, a high ranking official in the French army, was immediately condemned due to a wave of anti-semitism throughout France.

Zola shall fight for the exoneration of Dreyfus all the way. In his famous J'Accuse, he drives this goal into total action.

Joseph Schildkraut, as Dreyfus, won the best supporting actor award for his portrayal of the condemned man. You feel his hurt and ultimate triumph through every step of the way. His imprisonment at Devils Island is so realistic. His wife in all this is well played by actress Gale Sondergaard, who shed her usual evil-like performances and turned in a remarkable one as the grief stricken faithful wife of the apparently hopeless Dreyfuss.

When Dreyfus is ultimately exonerated, tragedy strikes. Zola dies accidentally from poisonous gas seeping through his home. He may be gone but his legacy would live on.


11 of 16 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... skindili
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:
?