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Germinal (1993)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  31 March 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 3,306 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 8 critic

In mid-nineteenth-century northern France, a coal mining town's workers are exploited by the mine's owner. One day, they decide to go on strike, and the authorities repress them.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Renaud ...
Étienne Lantier
Judith Henry ...
Jean-Roger Milo ...
Laurent Terzieff ...
Bernard Fresson ...
Victor Deneulin
Jean-Pierre Bisson ...
Jacques Dacqmine ...
Philippe Hennebeau
Anny Duperey ...
Madame Hennebeau
Gérard Croce ...
Annick Alane ...
Madame Grégoire
Pierre Lafont ...
Léon Grégoire


It's mid 19th century, north of France. The story of a coal miner's town. They are exploited by the mine's owner. One day the decide to go on strike, and then the authorities repress them Written by Michel Rudoy <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mine owner | mine | coal | strike | worker | See All (153) »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for intense depiction of suffering and class conflict | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

31 March 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Germinal  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


FRF 164,000,000 (estimated)


$378,854 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


French visa # 80759. See more »


Near the end of the film, when Etienne and Catherine are looking for the way out of the mine, we see the shadows of the lamps on the right wall of the tunnel. It's to be supposed that the only light inside the mine came from the lamps. See more »


Etienne Lantier: Capitalist tyranny is destroying us.
See more »


Referenced in ...And They Lived Happily Ever After (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

A French epic masterpiece and "must see" for movie buffs.
22 April 2001 | by (Orange County, CA USA) – See all my reviews

"Germinal", based on a novel by Emile Zola, is an epic film which studies the anatomy of a strike in a 19th century French coal mine. During it's 2.5+ hour run time, the film shows the wretchedness of coal miners, their deplorable living conditions, their attempts to organize, negotiations, strike, rioting, police suppression, sabotage, etc. The story is woven around a handful of characters who represent the forces at work; management, union, profiteers, scabs, etc.

About Zola's novel, Havelock Ellis wrote: "It was neither amusing enough nor outrageous enough to attract the multitude". So it is with the film which emphasizes realism over romanticism and exists more as a study of a timeless social/political issue than pure commercial entertainment. A must see for cinema buffs but not likely have broad commercial appeal.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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