7.4/10
1,148
15 user 23 critic

J'accuse! (1919)

J'accuse (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Horror, War | 25 April 1919 (France)
The story of two men, one married, the other the lover of the other's wife, who meet in the trenches of the First World War, and how their tale becomes a microcosm for the horrors of war.

Director:

Abel Gance

Writer:

Abel Gance
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Three Scottish officers, including Sir Archi, murder Sir Arne and his household for a coffin filled with gold. The only survivor is Elsalill, who moves to relatives in Marstrand. There she ... See full summary »

Director: Mauritz Stiller
Stars: Erik Stocklassa, Bror Berger, Richard Lund
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An American heiress seeks the hand of an impoverished German prince.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Victor Janson, Ossi Oswalda, Harry Liedtke
La roue (1923)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Sisif, a railwayman, and his son Elie fall in love with the beautiful Norma (who Sisif rescued from a train crash when a baby and raised as his daughter), with tragic results. Originally ... See full summary »

Director: Abel Gance
Stars: Séverin-Mars, Ivy Close, Gabriel de Gravone
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Lady Mary Lasenby is a spoiled maiden who always gets her way until shipwrecked with her butler, then learns which qualities are really admirable in a person.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Thomas Meighan, Theodore Roberts, Raymond Hatton
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The story of Madame DuBarry, the mistress of Louis XV of France, and her loves in the time of the French revolution.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Pola Negri, Emil Jannings, Harry Liedtke
I Accuse (1938)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After serving in the trenches of World War I, Jean Diaz recoils with such horror that he renounces love and personal pleasure to immerse himself in scientific research, seeking a machine to... See full summary »

Director: Abel Gance
Stars: Victor Francen, Line Noro, Sylvie Gance
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An Austrian officer sets out to seduce a neglected young wife.

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Sam De Grasse, Francelia Billington, Erich von Stroheim
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A stranger comes to work at widow Halla's farm. Halla and the stranger fall in love, but when he is revealed as Eyvind, an escaped thief forced into crime by his family's starvation, they ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Victor Sjöström, Edith Erastoff, John Ekman
Ingeborg Holm (1913)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Single mother is separated from her children due to financial struggles.

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Hilda Borgström, Aron Lindgren, Erik Lindholm
The Blue Bird (1918)
Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two peasant children, Mytyl and Tyltyl, are led by Berylune, a fairy, to search for the Blue Bird of Happiness. Berylune gives Tyltyl a cap with a diamond setting, and when Tyltyl turns the... See full summary »

Director: Maurice Tourneur
Stars: Tula Belle, Robin Macdougall, Edwin E. Reed
The Doll (1919)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Because the Baron of Chanterelle wants to preserve his family line, he forces his timid nephew Lancelot to choose one of the village maidens to wed. Lancelot flees to a monastery to escape ... See full summary »

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Ossi Oswalda, Hermann Thimig, Victor Janson
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Balduin, a student of Prague, leaves his roystering companions in the beer garden, when he finds he has reached the end of his resources. He is scarcely seated in a quiet corner when a ... See full summary »

Directors: Paul Wegener, Stellan Rye
Stars: Paul Wegener, Grete Berger, Lyda Salmonova
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Romuald Joubé ... Jean Diaz
Maxime Desjardins Maxime Desjardins ... Maria Lazare
Séverin-Mars ... François Laurin
Angèle Guys Angèle Guys ... Angele
Maryse Dauvray Maryse Dauvray ... Edith Laurin
Mancini Mancini ... Jean's Mother
Elizabeth Nizan Elizabeth Nizan
Pierre Danis Pierre Danis
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Blaise Cendrars Blaise Cendrars
Paul Duc Paul Duc ... Orphan
Edit

Storyline

The story of two men, one married, the other the lover of the other's wife, who meet in the trenches of the First World War, and how their tale becomes a microcosm for the horrors of war.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Horror | War

Certificate:

Not Rated

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

25 April 1919 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

J'accuse! See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Pathé Frères See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Black and White (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed in part on the battlefield of St. Mihiel, during battle. See more »

Quotes

Child #1: It's war!
Child #2: What's war?
Child #1: I don't know.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The cinematic phantoms of Verdun
28 April 2012 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

Here's why I deem this the most important film of the first 20 years; DW Griffith also had a lofty message to impart in Intolerance, but his Victorian saga of humanism through the ages was removed from life, unfolding in the shadow of gigantic Hollywood sets for Babylon or in Judea at the time of Christ. It was comfortably nudged in its archaic pulpit. This is important to understand, by contrast. J'Accuse is not a historical epic on WWI. Gance was drafted in the French Army's Section Cinématographique, was discharged for ill-health, but appalled at the horror of the experience, decided to re-enlist and make a film about it. He filmed actual war booming away through the country, actual soldiers on leave from the front and expected back within days.

Oh, the bulk of the film away from the trenches is old-fashioned melodrama, likely to leave the modern viewer cold. What does hold power, is that it is about war inspiring Gance to make the film denouncing war.

See, our protagonist is an artist. Like Gance, he is a poet committed to pacifism and blessed with the gift of granting vision, look at the poem he recites to his elderly mother, rendered in silent images, the sun rising over heaving seas. This is a great moment, later repeated for contrast in the midst of muddy war.

So, the poet enlists in the army to save a girl he loves but is not his, not solely his at any rate, and is really the whole of France. This all preamble of course - a man who grants visions brought to where visions are possible, the mad theater of war. The most celebrated moment in the film is an actual vision, a poem he recites for an audience back home which has gathered to listen about life in the trenches.

It is the rousing sight of the dead rising from the battlefield.

Gance used for the scene 2000 soldiers who had come straight from Verdun and were due back eight days later. You have to appreciate the chilling significance of this. Gance was staging death for these people, and death that both parties could not have failed to know was a rehearsal for the real thing. Within weeks of their return, the majority of the soldiers were dead as presaged in the film.

So death staged for an audience gathered round back home, at the behest of this poet - now raving mad - who conjures a vision of cinematic phantoms, the dead gaunt and in clutches and tatters getting up from shallow graves to march all the way back and haunt the living. They Accuse! ungrateful parents, wives, brothers, who have not honored the sacrifice.

The maelstrom of self-reflexive notions was one of the most advanced things going on at the time, I was surprised really. Gance would go on to invent a new visual grammar with La Roue, and first inklings of that we see here in the rapid-fire cutting and agile camera in the battle scenes that reflect the anxious mobility tearing through Europe, that was really the fight for a modern world.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed