IMDb > Germinal (1993)
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Germinal (1993) More at IMDbPro »

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Germinal -- It's mid 19th century in northern France. The story is about a coal miner's town. The 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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Release Date:
March 1994 (USA) See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 wins & 10 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
a difficult task See more (17 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Miou-Miou ... Maheude
Renaud ... Étienne Lantier

Jean Carmet ... Vincent Maheu dit Bonnemort
Judith Henry ... Catherine Maheu
Jean-Roger Milo ... Chaval

Gérard Depardieu ... Toussaint Maheu
Laurent Terzieff ... Souvarine
Bernard Fresson ... Victor Deneulin
Jean-Pierre Bisson ... Rasseneur
Jacques Dacqmine ... Philippe Hennebeau
Anny Duperey ... Madame Hennebeau
Gérard Croce ... Maigrat

Frédéric van den Driessche ... Paul Négrel
Annick Alane ... Madame Grégoire
Pierre Lafont ... Léon Grégoire
Thierry Levaret ... Zacharie Maheu
Fred Personne ... Pluchart
Cécile Bois ... Cécile Grégoire

Yolande Moreau ... La Levaque
Maximilien Regiani ... Pierron
Bruno Tuchszer ... Captain of the Guards

Anne-Marie Pisani ... La Mouquette
Fred Ulysse ... Dansaert
André Julien ... Mouque
Albano Guaetta ... Jeanlin Maheu
Georges Staquet ... Levaque
Yvette Petit ... Veuve Désir
Delphine Quentin ... Lucie Deneulin
Alexandrine Loeb ... Jeanne Deneulin
Solenn Jarniou ... Madame Rasseneur
Frédérique Ruchaud ... Honorine
Jenny Clève ... Rose
Fernand Kindt ... Company Secretary
André Chaumeau ... Company Cashier
Philippe Desboeuf ... Doctor
Séverine Huon ... Alzire Maheu
Jessica Sueur ... Lénore Maheu
Mathieu Mattez ... Henri Maheu
Alexandre Lekieffre ... Maxime
Sabrina Deladerière ... Philomène
Joël Petit ... Bébert
Nathalie Hequet ... Amélie

Directed by
Claude Berri 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Claude Berri  writer
Arlette Langmann  writer
Émile Zola  novel

Produced by
Claude Berri .... producer
Pierre Grunstein .... executive producer
Bodo Scriba .... associate producer
Original Music by
Jean-Louis Roques 
Cinematography by
Yves Angelo 
Film Editing by
Hervé de Luze 
Production Design by
Christian Marti 
Hoang Thanh At 
Art Direction by
Olivier Radot 
Costume Design by
Moidele Bickel  (as Bernadette Villard)
Caroline de Vivaise 
Sylvie Gautrelet 
Makeup Department
Joël Lavau .... makeup artist
Nathalie Louichon .... makeup artist
Isabelle Luzet .... hair stylist
Pierre Vadé .... hair stylist
Production Management
Francis Barrois .... assistant unit manager
Patrick Bordier .... production manager
Marc Vadé .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frédéric Auburtin .... first assistant director
Eric Bartonio .... assistant director
Art Department
Yann Biquand .... second assistant decorator
Frédéric Bénard .... assistant art director
Jean-René Coulon .... property master
Denis Gautelier .... carpenter
Frédéric Jourdan .... carpenter
Mathieu Junot .... props buyer
Patrick Schmitt .... prop buyer
Sound Department
Nicolas Becker .... foley artist
Bernard Chaumeil .... boom operator
Mathilde Cousin .... assistant sound editor
Pierre Gamet .... sound
Dominique Hennequin .... sound
Michel Klochendler .... sound
Jean-Noël Yven .... foley artist
Special Effects by
Jean-Pierre Maricourt .... special effects (as Jean-Pierre Moricourt)
Christophe Messaoudi .... special effects
Philippe Sylvain .... special effects
Visual Effects by
Angus Bickerton .... model unit focus puller
David Carrigan .... first assistant director: vfx unit
Alan Church .... clapper loader: Magic Camera Co
Alan Church .... focus puller: Magic Camera Co
José Granell .... director of miniature effects
Antony Hunt .... executive producer: The Magic Camera Company
Frederic Moreau .... optical effects supervisor
Antoine Simkine .... visual effects executive producer: Duboi
Andy Stevens .... model unit camera assistant: Magic Camera Co
Jérôme Henry Team .... stunts (as Jerome Henry)
Frédéric Vallet .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Stéphane Cry .... electrician
Patrick de Ranter .... Steadicam operator
Laurent Fleutot .... assistant camera
Gil Fontbonne .... grip
Jean-Yves Freess .... best boy grip
Marc Koninckx .... Steadicam operator
Marc Koninckx .... second camera operator
Denis Moncel .... gaffer
Patrick Renault .... electrician
Nicolas Sommermeyer .... grip
Alain Tanguy .... electrician
Richard Vidal .... electrician
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Nathalie Chesnais .... wardrobe
Christophe Giraud .... costume painter/dyer
Editorial Department
Laure Mercier .... assistant editor
Raphaël Péaud .... assistant editor
Other crew
Élizabeth Boorn .... production secretary
Pierre Choumeurthe .... production assistant
Sylvie Coen .... legal counsel
Jean-René Coulon .... location manager
Nicolas Davy .... production assistant
Nicole Dehayes .... choreographer
Claude Fenioux .... financial controller

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for intense depiction of suffering and class conflict
160 min | South Korea:144 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Revealing mistakes: 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 »
Toussaint Maheu:Take good care of it. For a miner a lamp is his sun.See more »


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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
a difficult task, 22 August 2008
Author: richard-1787 ( from United States

Reducing Zola's masterful but monstrously long novel to a movie is the problem that Claude Berri does not seem to have resolved. He sticks close to Zola's text, which means that we get lots of undeveloped snippets of what were very developed scenes in the novel. If you don't know the novel, this probably causes a certain sense of confusion. If you do know the novel, and it is well-known in France, you have the sense that you are just skimming the surface. I think that Berri would have done better to be less faithful to the novel, or at least less comprehensive in his adaptation of it.

That said, there are most certainly good things in this movie. Miou Miou delivers, in my opinion, the movie's best performance. No, she is not at all the earth mother that Zola's la Meheude is. But she acts with her face, saying far more with a facial gesture than many words would have said. In a movie that skims over a lot of material, that makes for very effective acting. Depardieu is sometimes very good - physically he is perfect for the part of le Maheu - sometimes he seems to deliver the lines without thinking about them. The actor who plays Souvarine is very striking.

The cinematography is nice, but does not convey a lot of what Zola emphasizes in the novel: the heat and lack of space in the mine tunnels, etc.

A good movie if you haven't read the novel; a disappointing one if you have.

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READ THE BOOK! alison-67
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