IMDb > The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
The Life of Emile Zola
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The Life of Emile Zola (1937) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Norman Reilly Raine (screen play) &
Heinz Herald (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Life of Emile Zola on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 October 1937 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Here Is True Greatness ! See more »
Plot:
The biopic of the famous French muckraking writer and his involvement in fighting the injustice of the Dreyfuss Affair. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Won 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 8 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Memorable Courtroom Speeches See more (39 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Paul Muni ... Emile Zola

Gale Sondergaard ... Lucie Dreyfus

Joseph Schildkraut ... Capt. Alfred Dreyfus

Gloria Holden ... Alexandrine Zola

Donald Crisp ... Maitre Labori
Erin O'Brien-Moore ... Nana (as Erin O'Brien Moore)

John Litel ... Charpentier
Henry O'Neill ... Colonel Picquart
Morris Carnovsky ... Anatole France

Louis Calhern ... Major Dort

Ralph Morgan ... Commander of Paris
Robert Barrat ... Major Walsin-Esterhazy
Vladimir Sokoloff ... Paul Cezanne

Grant Mitchell ... Georges Clemenceau

Harry Davenport ... Chief of Staff
Robert Warwick ... Major Henry
Charles Richman ... M. Delagorgue
Gilbert Emery ... Minister of War
Walter Kingsford ... Colonel Sandherr
Paul Everton ... Assistant Chief of Staff
Montagu Love ... M. Cavaignac
Frank Sheridan ... M. Van Cassell
Lumsden Hare ... Mr. Richards
Marcia Mae Jones ... Helen Richards
Florence Roberts ... Madame Zola

Dickie Moore ... Pierre Dreyfus
Rolla Gourvitch ... Jeanne Dreyfus
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Arthur Aylesworth ... Chief Censor (uncredited)
Maurice Black ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Stanley Blystone ... (uncredited)
Egon Brecher ... Brucker (uncredited)
Iphigenie Castiglioni ... Madame Charpentier (uncredited)
Robert Cummings Sr. ... Gen. Gillian (uncredited)
Frank Darien ... Albert (uncredited)
Franklyn Farnum ... (uncredited)
Holmes Herbert ... Commander of Paris (uncredited)
Paul Irving ... La Rue (uncredited)
Alexander Leftwich ... Maj. D'Aboville (uncredited)
Eric Mayne ... Member of the Court (uncredited)
Frank Mayo ... Mathieu Dreyfus (uncredited)
Alex Novinsky ... Member of the Court (uncredited)
Moroni Olsen ... Capt. Guignet (uncredited)

Frank Reicher ... M. Perrenx (uncredited)
Walter O. Stahl ... Sen. Scheurer-Kestner (uncredited)
Wilhelm von Brincken ... Swartzoppen (uncredited)
Pierre Watkin ... Prefect of Police (uncredited)
Dolores Weisenfreund ... Small Role (uncredited)
Harry Worth ... Lieutenant (uncredited)
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Directed by
William Dieterle 
 
Writing credits
Norman Reilly Raine (screen play) &
Heinz Herald (screen play) &
Geza Herczeg (screen play)

Heinz Herald (story) and
Geza Herczeg (story)

Matthew Josephson (source material "Zola and His Time")

Produced by
Henry Blanke .... associate producer (uncredited)
Hal B. Wallis .... executive producer (uncredited)
Jack L. Warner .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Max Steiner 
 
Cinematography by
Tony Gaudio (photography)
 
Film Editing by
Warren Low (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Anton Grot 
 
Set Decoration by
Albert C. Wilson (uncredited)
 
Costume Design by
Milo Anderson (costumes by)
Ali Hubert (costumes by)
 
Makeup Department
Perc Westmore .... makeup artist
Norbert A. Myles .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Irving Rapper .... assistant director (uncredited)
Russell Saunders .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Harper Goff .... set designer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... musical director
Hugo Friedhofer .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Irving Rapper .... dialogue director
S. Charles Einfeld .... press representative (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
116 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Brazil:Livre | Canada:(Banned) (Quebec) (theatrical release) | Canada:G (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:14 (1938) | USA:TV-G | USA:Approved (PCA #3212)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The second biographical film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture after The Great Ziegfeld (1936).See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: The lettering on the door to Clemenceau's office at the newspaper misspells his first name "George" instead of the correct French spelling, "Georges".See more »
Quotes:
Minister of War:Books? Books? I don't read books!See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
La MarseillaiseSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
13 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
Memorable Courtroom Speeches, 22 September 2003
Author: harry-76 from Cleveland, Ohio

Such occasions are not unlike great arias in operas: the stage lights softly dim and follow spot brightens as all cast characters (and audience) lean forward to focus on the delivery.

Such a moment occurs in "The Life of Emile Zola" as Paul Muni as Zola steps to the platform to deliver his courtroom defense speech. Against all the odds of a jeering mob and negative press, he proceeds to offer a seven minute oration.

The scene is a set-up for Muni, and the camera, editing, and staging are all designed for the actor to deliver his thespian goods. He doesn't disappoint.

Two other cinematic courtroom speeches are comparable: Alec Guiness as Benjamin Disraeli in "The Mudlark" (1950) enjoyed the rare opportunity of having his six minute, uninterrupted speech done in a single, slow tracking shot; and Gary Cooper as Howard Roark in "The Fountainhead" (1949) held a courtroom breathless for over five minutes, defending his act of poetic, if not Randian-judicial, justice.

In Muni's case, his defense scene turned out to be a highpoint of an intriguing acting career. From Yiddish theater to worldwide stardom--with fewer that two dozen films to his credit--Muni constantly enthralled some while leaving others doubtful.

What's undeniable about Muni is that he achieved stardom on his own power. He was able to convince a goodly number of people, both peers and public alike, that he was indeed not just a good but great actor.

While some held a sneaking suspicion that he was a wee bit of a poseur, having never formally studied his craft, it really doesn't matter. Muni didn't win his lucrative acting contracts--or his Academy Award honors--for nothing.

Personally, I enjoy his general work, being more partial to roles more close to his own than those of his elders. In latter cases I felt he often tended to go a bit over-the-top with "stereotypical mannerisms."

As Zola, though, his earnestness and determination proves convincing, and the film itself is peopled with a powerhouse cadre of Warner Bros. character players.

To the film's credit, a pre-enactment inscription admits to the intermingling of fiction with fact for dramatic purposes. This also relieves the production of accusations of historical inaccuracy.

All in all, "The Life of Emile Zola" is a most engrossing biopic of a courageous literary giant who placed the pursuit of justice above the receiving of worldly accolades.

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See more (39 total) »

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