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Joyeux Noel (2005)
"Joyeux Noël" (original title)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, History, Music  |  9 November 2005 (France)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 20,083 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 144 user | 111 critic | 26 from

In December 1914, an unofficial Christmas truce on the Western Front allows soldiers from opposing sides of the First World War to gain insight into each other's way of life.


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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Anna Sörensen (as Diane Krüger)
Natalie Dessay ...
Anna Sörensen (singing voice)
Rolando Villazón ...
Nikolaus Sprink (singing voice) (as Rolando Villazon)
Alex Ferns ...
Bernard Le Coq ...
Le général Audebert
L'évêque anglais
Thomas Schmauser ...
Le Kronprinz


In 1914, World War I, the bloodiest war ever at that time in human history, was well under way. However on Christmas Eve, numerous sections of the Western Front called an informal, and unauthorized, truce where the various front-line soldiers of the conflict peacefully met each other in No Man's Land to share a precious pause in the carnage with a fleeting brotherhood. This film dramatizes one such section as the French, Scottish and German sides partake in the unique event, even though they are aware that their superiors will not tolerate its occurrence. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


France 1914. A moment of humanity that made history. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 on appeal for some war violence and a brief scene of sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

9 November 2005 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Joyeux Noel  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,413,005 (France) (11 November 2005)


$1,050,445 (USA) (30 June 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The character of the Male opera singer is based on that of German tenor Walter Kirchhoff (1879-1951), who travelled to the front in order to perform for the troops. His performance was met by cheers from the French lines, where upon he decided to climb on to no-mans-land to see who was cheering. See more »


When Anna and Nikolaus talks about the time they met for the first time, they say "Oslo". Oslo, capitol of Norway, was called Kristiania until 1924. See more »


[first lines]
Enfant francais: Child, upon these maps do heed This black stain to be effaced Omitting it, you would proceed Yet better it in red to trace Later, whatever may come to pass Promise there to go you must To fetch the children of Alsace Reaching out their arms to us May in our fondest France Hope's green saplings to branch And in you, dear child, flower Grow, grow, France awaits its hour.
Enfant anglais: To rid the map of every trace Of Germany and of the Hun We must exterminate that race We must not leave a single ...
See more »


References Paths of Glory (1957) See more »


Bist du bei mir
Composed by Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel
Performed by Natalie Dessay and Rolando Villazón with Quatuor à cordes Bel arte and Philippe Rombi (piano)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An excellent movie!
25 December 2005 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

I was sceptical before watching this film but by the end I had tears running down my cheeks.

By depicting the feelings and destinies of the soldiers, the film demonstrated the absurdity of war and how each soldier is more than a mere cannon target. It is a commentary on the utter stupidity of politics governing war events from behind curtains while not actually experiencing the real war. By depicting a unique event in European war history that occurred on Christmas day 1914 it shows viewers that Europeans can be as one even as "enemies".

About ten years ago I watched Paul McCartney's video "Pipes of Peace" and thought that what it depicted was completely fictitious--nothing more than pacifists' dreams. I have now learned that it was true.

62 of 64 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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How can there be three sides trying to kill each other? TeteEpaule
Another World War 'unofficial mini-truce' movie... Help? dansemave
French, German and Scottish? ohmygodidontbelieveit
When did you cry? man_of_stars
Oh God not again! eclecticanna
Why not 'Frohe Weihnacht' m_intveen
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