La Marseillaise (1938)

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A news-reel like movie about early part of the French Revolution, shown from the eyes of individual people, citizens of Marseille, counts in German exile and, of course the king Louis XVI, ... See full summary »



(scenario), (collaboration) (as C. Koch) , 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pierre Renoir ...
Lise Delamare ...
La Reine Marie-Antoinette (as Lise Delamare de la Comédie Française)
Léon Larive ...
Picard, le valet du roi
William Aguet ...
Duque de La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt
Elisa Ruis ...
Marie-Pierre Sordet-Dantès ...
Yveline Auriol ...
La Dauphine
Pamela Stirling ...
Une suivante
Génia Vaury ...
Une suivante
Jean Aquistapace ...
Paul Giraud, le maire du village
Georges Spanelly ...
La Chesnaye (as Spanelly)
Le capitaine Langlade
Pierre Nay ...
Edmond Castel ...
Leroux (as Castel)


A news-reel like movie about early part of the French Revolution, shown from the eyes of individual people, citizens of Marseille, counts in German exile and, of course the king Louis XVI, showing their own small problems. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History | Music | War


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Release Date:

17 April 1938 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

La Marseillaise  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The cast is grouped in 5 categories in the credits: First, 'The Court' (La Cour), then 'The Civil Authorities and the Military' (Les Autorités Civiles & Militaires), 'The Aristocrats' (Les Aristocrates), followed by 'The Marseille Folks' (Les Marseillais) and finally 'The People' (Le Peuple). See more »


Featured in No More Time (1973) See more »


Musique ancienne
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

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User Reviews

The Revolution Before the Guillotine
22 May 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

La Marseillaise takes place during the phase of the French revolution that was the most optimistic and the least bloody. Director Jean Renoir is concerned with how this moment is viewed by both the monarchy in Paris and the everyday people of Marseillaise who march to Paris singing their song (Battle Hymn of the Rhine Army). His presentation is realistic and probably more accurate than most films that have dealt with the subject.

La Marseillaise has been proclaimed as a masterpiece but, while I liked the film, I cannot share in that acclaim. Jean Renoir is considered one of the (if not THE) greatest French directors in film history. I love The Rules of the Game, but have found many of Renoir's other films slow going. This is true of parts of La Marseillaise as well. The running time is 132 minutes; there is (intentionally) no main protagonist; an assumption is made that the audience knows more about the historical events than some viewers (like me) may.

Despite some restlessness on my part, La Marseillaise remains a worthwhile film. Every Jean Renoir film has wonderful moments, La Marseillaise especially. My favorite is Louis XVI's long walk with his family to Parilament. Renoir uses a crane shot to view the pedestrians. The dejected look on the King's face is powerful. He and his son share a reflexive moment over fallen leaves. This scene powerfully contrasts with the buffoonish way Louis was portrayed at the beginning of the film. This is a perfectly made scene. The film has other great scenes as well.

Although it did not affect me as deeply as it has others, I would recommend La Marseillaise, especially to French film admirers, students of Jean Renoir, and history buffs.

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