In 1456, French king Charles VII recalls the story of how he met the 17 year-old peasant girl Joan of Arc, entrusted her with the command of the French Army and ultimately burned her at the stake as a heretic.
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Young Joan of Arc comes to the palace in France to make The Dauphin King of France and is appointed to head the French Army. After winning many battles she is not needed any longer and soon she is thought of as a witch. Written by
A special effects accident caused actress Jean Seberg actually to catch fire in the scene where Joan of Arc is burned. (She [Seberg] sustained only very minor injuries.) See more »
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Preminger and Greene present a noble effort of Shaw's play
Graham Greene wrote this movie version of George Bernard Shaw's play for the screen. Nineteen-year-old Jean Seberg made her movie debut here in the title role. She is engaging as the young Maid of Orleans who dresses as a boy and wants to be taken seriously as a soldier who hears voices from the saints in heaven. While watching this movie, it's important to remember that the characterization of Joan of Arc varies widely from the crazy Joan Pucelle, as characterized in Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part I, to a total otherworldly religious victim as seen in Carl Theodor Dreyer's silent classic, La Passion et la Mort de Jeanne d'Arc.
Shaw wanted to present his Joan differently and this movie is about Shaw's Joan. Preminger and Greene present a noble effort of Shaw's play. It is entertaining in that it tells a good story without over romanticizing Joan nor over vilifying her chief executioner, Cauchon (Anton Walbrook). Dunois, Bastard of Orleans (Richard Todd) supports Joan's efforts and serves as her fellow soldier-in-arms. Richard Widmark--as the Dauphin that Joan makes Charles VII--plays his role as a childish clown. Finally, (Sir) John Gielgud admirably presents the English side of this story as he portrays Warwick. This movie is quite worth while--especially for Shaw fans.
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