7.7/10
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151 user 122 critic

Joyeux Noel (2005)

Joyeux Noël (original title)
Trailer
2:03 | Trailer
In December 1914, an unofficial Christmas truce on the Western Front allows soldiers from opposing sides of the First World War to gain insight into each other's way of life.

Director:

Christian Carion
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Popularity
3,269 ( 702)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Diane Kruger ... Anna Sörensen (as Diane Krüger)
Natalie Dessay ... Anna Sörensen (singing voice)
Benno Fürmann ... Nikolaus Sprink
Rolando Villazón ... Nikolaus Sprink (singing voice) (as Rolando Villazon)
Guillaume Canet ... Le lieutenant Audebert
Gary Lewis ... le pasteur Palmer
Dany Boon ... Ponchel
Daniel Brühl ... le lieutenant Horstmayer
Lucas Belvaux ... Gueusselin
Alex Ferns ... Le lieutenant Gordon
Steven Robertson ... Jonathan
Frank Witter ... Jörg - un soldat allemand
Bernard Le Coq Bernard Le Coq ... Le général Audebert
Ian Richardson ... L'évêque anglais
Thomas Schmauser ... Le Kronprinz
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Storyline

In 1914, World War I, the bloodiest war ever at that time in human history, was well under way. However on Christmas Eve, numerous sections of the Western Front called an informal, and unauthorized, truce where the various front-line soldiers of the conflict peacefully met each other in No Man's Land to share a precious pause in the carnage with a fleeting brotherhood. This film dramatizes one such section as the French, Scottish and German sides partake in the unique event, even though they are aware that their superiors will not tolerate its occurrence. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Without an enemy there can be no war. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 on appeal for some war violence and a brief scene of sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Germany | UK | Belgium | Romania | Norway | Japan | USA

Language:

French | German | English | Latin

Release Date:

9 November 2005 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Merry Christmas See more »

Filming Locations:

Romania See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,054,361

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$17,709,155
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Towards the end of the film Major General Audebert says "i've been ordered to arrest a cat for treason", A cat portrayed in the film as Felix/Nestor, was actually arrested and shot for espionage after it arrived in French lines wearing a new collar and bearing a note (in french) which read "which regiment are you from?". The general in charge decided just to follow the letter of the law, the cat was shot for spying. See more »

Goofs

In the film the musical exchange is prompted by the Scottish troops: in reality, most incidents began with the German troops singing carols from their trenches (but not exposing themselves to the enemy - both sides remained in their trenches) with the opposing troops countering with carols of their own. The film was advertised as "based on a true story", but neither the marketing nor anything in the film claims it to be a historically accurate account of the events. At the end of the closing credits it states, the story is based on a compilation of various documented events which took place along the front during WW1. Director Christian Carion said in the DVD commentary that he included Scots, rather than English, in the story because he wanted bagpipe music. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Enfant francais: Child, upon these maps do heed This black stain to be effaced Omitting it, you would proceed Yet better it in red to trace Later, whatever may come to pass Promise there to go you must To fetch the children of Alsace Reaching out their arms to us May in our fondest France Hope's green saplings to branch And in you, dear child, flower Grow, grow, France awaits its hour.
Enfant anglais: To rid the map of every trace Of Germany and of the Hun We must exterminate that race We must not leave a single ...
[...]
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Soundtracks

I'm Dreaming of Home
('In' version)
Composed by Philippe Rombi
Performed by Griogair Lawrie, David Bruce, Ivan MacDonald and Calum Beaton (Bagpipe Ensemble)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An excellent movie!
25 December 2005 | by kaplunvSee all my reviews

I was sceptical before watching this film but by the end I had tears running down my cheeks.

By depicting the feelings and destinies of the soldiers, the film demonstrated the absurdity of war and how each soldier is more than a mere cannon target. It is a commentary on the utter stupidity of politics governing war events from behind curtains while not actually experiencing the real war. By depicting a unique event in European war history that occurred on Christmas day 1914 it shows viewers that Europeans can be as one even as "enemies".

About ten years ago I watched Paul McCartney's video "Pipes of Peace" and thought that what it depicted was completely fictitious--nothing more than pacifists' dreams. I have now learned that it was true.


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