Fictionalized account of the life of famed French author Emile Zola. As portrayed in the film, he was a penniless writer sharing an apartment in Paris with painter Paul Cezanne when he finally wrote a best-seller, Nana. He has always had difficulty holding onto a job as he is quite outspoken, being warned on several occasions by the public prosecutor that he risks charges if he does not temper his writings. The bulk of the film deals with his involvement in the case of Captain Alfred Dreyfus who was falsely convicted of giving secret military information to the Germans and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devils Island. Antisemitism played an important role in the real-life case but is hardly mentioned in the film. Even after the military found definitive evidence that Dreyfus was innocent, the army decided to cover it up rather than face the scandal of having arbitrarily convicted the wrong man. Zola's famous letter, J'Accuse (I Accuse), led to his own trial for libel where he was ...
BROUGHT BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! (print ad - Lubbock Morning Avalanche - Texan Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - March 8, 1938 - all caps)
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Did You Know?
Zola died in 1902. Dreyfus was not exonerated and reinstated into the Army until 1906. (In fact, after his return from Devil's Island, Dreyfus was tried again, convicted again and sentenced to 10 years in prison, but was pardoned in exchange for admitting guilt.) See more
Why didn't Picquart say anything?
Colonel Picquart is a good officer. He kept silent at the request of his superiors.
You mean they KNEW and they ordered him to suppress the truth? Why,that's monstrous!
Featured in History Brought to Life
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Variations often in the score See more