The life story of Nostradamus unfolded in medieval Europe at the time of the Great Plague and the Inquisition. He lived in an age of superstition and magic and believed that he could ... See full summary »





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Credited cast:
Vincent Bridges ...
Himself - Historian
Nostradamus (voice)
Himself (as Penn)
Jean de Chavigny


The life story of Nostradamus unfolded in medieval Europe at the time of the Great Plague and the Inquisition. He lived in an age of superstition and magic and believed that he could foretell the future. For this he was labeled both a prophet and a heretic, and his cryptic journals continue to inspire controversy just as they did in the 16th century. In this two hour examination of his life, we visit his birthplace in France and trace his career as doctor, astrologer, father and seer.

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Plot Keywords:

prophecy | nostradamus | See All (2) »







Release Date:

14 December 2003 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The bird on Nostradamus' desk is a hawk that was caught in Agoura Hills, CA. See more »


Penn Jillette: Anyone who believes in Nostradamus and thinks 9/11 was in those books, needs to be brought up to trial. Where were they on 9/10? I don't care about 9/11. Because remember it was airplanes, which means if you knew on 9/10, you could stop it. If I had a book in my possession that had anything at all about what was going to happen on 9/11 and I did not give that information over to people who could stop it, I don't think you have a more direct textbook definition of evil.
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User Reviews

Making stuff up for entertainment value

So anyone who knows about Nostradamus knows that people think he predicted stuff. And they base this upon books of poorly written "quatrains" that are so ambiguous and vague that they could be liberally applied to virtually anything, anywhere, to anyone at any time.

But there comes a point where they can't really affix a Nostradamus quatrain to history at all, so they just make stuff up.

Examples: There is absolutely no proof given that Nostradamus liked to play with words like an autistic child, and mix words around and letters around. As such, they think by writing about "Po, Nay, Loren", he REALLY meant to write Napoleon. Really.

Another one mentions something about an army fighting on the battlegrounds of hister. They say "Hister" is the old name for the Danube river. I'm willing to believe that, though the name "Danube/Danubius" is ancient, but the Greeks used the word Istros, and Latin occasionally uses Ister.

But they completely make s**t up by claiming he REALLY meant to say "Hitler". Not only does this completely violate the laws of grammar and spelling, as well as arbitrarily claiming Nostradamus fudged a man's name for absolutely no reason at all, but the quatrain in question uses the term "Hister" to mean a location, and not a person.

It goes on further by saying such arbitrary things as the "greater part of the army will be against hister" and claiming this means that the greater armies of the world like Soviet Union, America, etcetera, were against Hitler.

Again, given that "hister" is already established as the Danube river, this could mean literally anything, liberally twisted about to apply to wars against Prussia, World War I, anywhere and anything at any point anywhere.

Other passages are arbitrarily connected to Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, and are literally as vague as "This guy will have this stuff occur and he will feel something". The one about Clinton is approximately like this: "Honor will be blinded by his lust, and he'll suffer dishonor". WOW REALLY?! That could apply to virtually anyone who is overcome by their lusts and is ashamed for doing so! One of the absolute worst and greatest moments of comedy comes from a guy who clearly makes a great amount of money from History Channel. You know who he is because he has big wide eyes, a big scruffy beard, wears a brimless hat, and has bad teeth.

According to him, he says that Nostradamus lists the Third Antichrist as someone going by "Mabus" and he arbitrarily claims this means "Mabush" as you completely arbitrarily turn the M upside down to be a W, drop the A for absolutely no reason whatsoever, and the infamous "Silent Latin H" in which he drops the H, and you get "WBush", as in George W. Bush.

Rule of Latin: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A "SILENT H" IN Latin! More hilarity ensues as they decide that "Mabus" is actually an anagram for "Osama" and "Bush". And "Asshole" is an anagram for "Frederick Douglass" and "Hole", because see, for Nostradamus, grammar is meaningless, so you can add a pointless extra S for Douglas, and the E is meant to be pronounced, so you get what sounds like "Holy".

Therefore, Nostradamus predicted that Frederick Douglas would become a holy saint. In a quatrain that says "I am an Asshole".

There seems to be absolutely no reasoning for just randomly dropping letters and turning one upside down. The idea given is that he is somehow trying to hide the fact that these are prophecies for fear of being outed as a heretic and executed.

But this raises the question: Who in the blue hell knows who a George W. Bush or a Napoleon Bonaparte is in the 1500s?! Why would he randomly chop up and re-arrange and play with their names to hide them from people who would have absolutely no chance of ever know who this is and even if random words put together mean a prophecy of some sort? If anyone read his quatrains, how would reading "Hister" instead of "Hitler" be of some concern?! More hilarity ensues where vagaries like "New City" are arbitrarily decided to mean "New YORK City" because, in the EXACT WORDS of one of the "experts": "You could easily put 'York' in between 'New City'" YOU CAN ALSO EASILY PUT 'WAVE OF STUPIDITY HITS' IN BETWEEN 'NEW CITY'! At the very least, they give some few seconds for detractors of Nostradamus, including the likes of Penn & Teller, who devote an entire episode to prophecies such as Nostradamus, and even feature that nutbag I mentioned above with the beard and bad teeth.

And yet, I have to end this review with something I freely take from their episode in paraphrase: If these Nostradamus believers are so absolutely sure that Nostradamus predicted these things, where were they before 9/11? Where were they before Kennedy's assassination? Where were they before the Columbia shuttle disaster? Where were they to warn us of these things, and point to evidence of previous prophecy fulfillments to get people to do anything? And the best part for us is that Nostradamus supposedly predicted the Nazis would win World War II. And yet this somehow causes his other predictions of Kennedy and the Gulf War and the Gulf War II and such to happen as they did, because apparently if Nazis won WW2, they would have just surrendered immediately, or been crushed afterwards by the US or some stupid crap.

I believe much what one of the people in this program believe: Nostradamus was not a prophet. Nor was he a charlatan. He was a writer who wrote social commentary of his day, and made it so vague that idiots today could manipulate his words to apply to today.

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