The Trial of Joan of Arc

1962 [FRENCH]

Biography / Drama / History

0
IMDb Rating 7.5 10 4621

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN

Director

Cast

Michael Williams as Englishman

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ma-cortes 7 / 10

A slow but splendid reconstruction about the trial of Joan of Arc in which she was wrongly sentenced to death

This is a magnificent rendition of the trial of Joan of Arc (Florence Delay in his only acting); as after the successful liberation of Orléans and Reims , the Dauphin can be crowned traditionally in the cathedral of Reims - and does not need her anymore, since his wishes are satisfied. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent her to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief mission . Jeanne d'Arc gets set up in his trap and is imprisoned by the Burgundians. In a trial (presided by bishop Cauchon well played by Fournier) against her under English law, she can't be forced to tell about her divine visions she has had continuously since childhood. Being condemned of witchcraft and being considered as relapsed heretic, she is sentenced to death . Jeanne d'Arc is burnt alive in the marketplace of Rouen on May 30th, 1431, at only 19 years of age .

This excellent film by Robert Bresson was based entirely on the transcripts of the real-life trial , adapted in theatrical fashion ; concerning Joan's imprisonment, interrogation and final execution at the hands of the English . Joan excellently played by Florence Delay asserted that she had visions from God , Saint Catalina , Saint Margarita and Angel St Michelle that instructed her to recover her homeland from English domination late in the Hundred Years' War. Although the story takes place in 1431, Jeanne's hairstyle is strictly a popular mode of the early 1960s. This is not a "goof" but an intention on the director's part to help young people identify with the character. It was shot in a spare , too serious and low-key style . Runtime movie is short , approx. 65 minutes , but is neither boring , nor dull but thought-provoking . The ending scenes in which she's condemned is very interesting and the sentence at the burning pole is overwhelming .

Other films about this historic character are the following : TV version (1999) with Lelee Sobieski , Neal Patrick Harris as Charles VII , Peter O'Toole as the Bishop , Powers Boothe , Olimpia Dukakis and Peter Strauss ; Joan of Arc (1999) by Luc Besson with Milla Jovovich , Tchéky Karyo as Dunois , John Malkovich as Charles VII and Toby Jones ; Saint Joan (1957) by Otto Preminger with Jean Seberg , Richard Widmark , Richard Todd and John Gielgud ; Joan of Arc (1954) by Roberto Rosselini with Ingrid Bergman ; Joan of Arc by Victor Fleming (1948) with Ingrid Berman , J Carrol Naish , War Bond and Jose Ferrer as Charles VII . Furthermore , silent adaptation such as the classical La passion de Jeanne d'Arc (1928) by Carl Theodor Dreyer with Maria Falconetti and Joan The woman (1916) by Cecil B Demille .

The movie was set in ¨Hundred years war¨ developed between 1337 and 1453 (downfall date of Constantinopla by Turks). The historical deeds are the following : Henry V vanquishes Charles VI in Agincourt (1415) that was a major English victory against a numerically superior French army in the Hundred Years' War . The battle occurred on Friday, 25 October 1415 and Henry V takes over on Normandy . Charles VI of France signs ¨Troyes treatise¨ in which Henry V is wedded to Charles's daughter . Later on , Henry VI of England proclaims himself king of France but then Joan of Arc proclaims in Bourges to Charles VII as king , after being crowned in Reims . She gained prominence when she overcame the dismissive attitude of veteran commanders and lifted the siege in only nine days. Joan of Arc acting as a divine mission defeats English army in Orleans .Several more swift victories led to Charles VII's coronation and settled the disputed succession to the throne . But she's captured by the Burgundians and is handed over to English authorities and they fire her for heretic and witch in Rouen.

Reviewed by moonspinner55 6 / 10

Unblinking, unflinching inquisition of the Maid of Orleans

French filmmaker Robert Bresson used the actual transcripts from the trial of Jeanne d'Arc in order to reveal her character through her words in these final days. Bresson keeps leading actress Florence Carrez, a non-professional as are the others in the cast, speaking in a forthright monotone, without much vocal inflection or facial exaggeration in order for the viewer to concentrate solely on her words. His film is intentionally without scope (and has very little exposition) and some may find the cut-and-dried handling a bit pedestrian. Certainly it was financed on a minimal-budget, and some of the players are stilted, but the film's compact running time of 68 minutes works to Bresson's advantage: he's able to get right to the heart of things, and he leaves us with a haunting climax. That said, there were three things I didn't care for: the musical intro is so severe for an opening that it may provoke an indifferent response (the matching closer is less irritating); Joan seems to have a believer in one of the priests at her trial (he sends her subtle signals) but this isn't explained (which may again be intentional); and barefoot Joan's geisha-like quick steps leading up to the gallows are peculiar--was it her decision not to walk with shoes, and was the ground so hot she had to practically dance to her death? **1/2 from ****

Reviewed by zetes 6 / 10

This is far from Bresson's best work.

The director's signature style adds pretty much nothing to the story, the subject of one of the greatest works of cinema, Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc. If you don't like Dreyer's melodramatics – and that famous silent is indeed enormously melodramatic – then maybe Bresson's toned down version will work for you. But, really, most of the film consists of long, dry scenes of question and answer sessions between Joan and her judges. It only runs just over an hour, but a lot of it feels like a chore. It's not a worthless film, of course. Once in a while Bresson captures a powerful image. I loved the shots of Joan through the peephole, as well as the reverse shots of the Englishmen staring through it. And the final sequence, Joan's ascension to the stake, is as powerful as anything in the Dreyer film (although I usually list The Passion of Joan of Arc among my ten favorite films, I will admit that he missteps during the final sequence with that historically inaccurate riot and the Eisensteinian moments that ensue), and as good as anything else Bresson has made. Also, Florence Delay, who plays Joan, could be mentioned next to Falconetti without embarrassment. She is exceptional.

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