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Verdun: Looking at History (1928)

Verdun, visions d'histoire (original title)
Not Rated | | History, War | November 1928 (USA)
Dramatic re-enactment of the battle of Verdun during World War I, as seen by both French and German sides.


Léon Poirier


Léon Poirier

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Albert Préjean ... Le soldat français
Jeanne Marie-Laurent Jeanne Marie-Laurent ... La mère
Suzanne Bianchetti Suzanne Bianchetti ... L'épouse
Hans Brausewetter ... Fritz - le soldat allemand
Thomy Bourdelle Thomy Bourdelle ... L'officier allemand
Berthe Jalabert Berthe Jalabert
Maurice Schutz ... Le maréchal d'empire
Pierre Nay Pierre Nay ... Le fils
Jean Dehelly Jean Dehelly ... Le jeune homme
Daniel Mendaille ... Le mari
Antonin Artaud ... L'intellectuel
André Nox ... L'aumônier
Paul Amiot Paul Amiot
José Davert José Davert ... Le paysan
Henri Delannoy Henri Delannoy ... François


The German troops are entering the Meuse. The French soldier calmly awaits the shock. All the villages have been evacuated; wives have been torn apart from their husbands, who stay to defend the land the old farmer won't abandon. The German offensive takes place on February 21st, 1916. Following intense bombing from 7.15 am to 5 pm, flocks of German soldiers dash through the bois des Caures.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


History | War


Not Rated






Release Date:

November 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Verdun: Looking at History See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The fort that is posing for Fort Vaux during the attack on it in the film is actually Fort Tavannes. It is not far from Fort Vaux, and has been attacked during the real battle in 1916. See more »


Sundial: Today me, tomorrow you
See more »


Edited into Verdun, souvenirs d'histoire (1931) See more »

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User Reviews

a stunning combination of music and images
6 August 2006 | by phantom2-2See all my reviews

it's hard to believe that this film was made in 1928. the photography is outstanding. the print was sharp. and the music (played by a live pianist in this case) is utterly sublime. the special effects are extremely well done, with a variety of explosions (ok, a huge variety of explosions), ghostly images, scenery (the french countryside as a moonscape of craters and splintered trees) and graphic maps that would work nicely in a film created today.

considering that this is essentially a documentary/re-enactment of the now nearly-forgotten world war one trench battle of verdun, it is surprisingly engrossing material. the presence of several fictionalized characters fighting through the battle helps hold interest as opposed to a dry, third-person telling. it has a pro-french slant (it is a french film, after all), but the Germans are presented sympathetically.

i understand that this film has been "lost" for years, with a print recently reconstructed from footage found in a moscow film archives (the Germans took the original during ww2 & the russians subsequently took it from them later in the war) and it has only been shown a handful of times, though a DVD is coming soon. if the opportunity presents, see this movie. the music alone is reason enough, but pair that with the images on screen and it's amazing.

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