Action opens in November of 1793, with Danton returning to Paris from his country retreat upon learning that the Committee for Public Safety, under Robespierre's incitement, has begun a series of massive executions, The Terror. Confident in the people's support, Danton clashes with his former ally, but calculating Robespierre soon rounds up Danton and his followers, tries them before a revolutionary tribunal and dipatches them to the guillotine.
Polish Cinema Database <http://info.fuw.edu.pl/Filmy/>
Did You Know?
At the time, Poland's Solidarity movement was very popular in France and, with the film being directed by a Polish director, Andrzej Wajda
, everything seemed right for the film to be a hit. There are elements in the film that seemed to draw an analogy between the French Revolution and Solidarity's fight against Communism. However, the Government had swung to the right by the time the film was released in January 1983. The harsh, icy portrayal of Robespierre was considered particularly objectionable and the attitude was that Wajda had denigrated the French Revolution by misrepresenting its icons. See more
Many significant figures and events were presented inaccurately or not at all. Danton was presented as a drunk. Louis de Saint-Just, known at the time as the "Angel of Death" and the public face of the Reign of Terror, acted like a modern-day hippie. Much of the military history, such as the Civil War in the Vendée, was completely excluded, removing the Terror from its historical context. The film largely excludes the common people of France, despite the fact that the Revolution was a popular uprising. See more
You admit a dictatorship is needed. That means the nation is unable to govern itself and democracy is only an illusion.
gets an "and introducing" credit ("et pour la première fois à l'écran"). See more
The dialogue in the dubbed version with American voice actors sometimes differs sharply from the original: for example, Robespierre's last words to Saint-Just are not the dismissive "Don't wake me when you leave" ("Ne me réveillez pas quand tu sortiras") but the prophetic "Whatever happens will happen soon" (so that, like Danton, he apparently realises he will shortly meet Danton's fate). See more
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