Review: ‘Le Passion de Jeanne D’Arc’

Here is a deadly tiresome picture that merely makes an attempt to narrate without sound or dialog an allegedly written recorded trial in the 15th or 16th century of Joan of Arc for witchery, leading to her condemnation and burning at the stake.

Here is a deadly tiresome picture that merely makes an attempt to narrate without sound or dialog an allegedly written recorded trial in the 15th or 16th century of Joan of Arc for witchery, leading to her condemnation and burning at the stake.

One grows terribly weary of seeing her judges reappear, of the long series of captioned questions and answers, of Joan double-crossed, and of Joan doing a long-distance burning sequence, with the French mobs as inserts. Totally a cheaply economic film as a product.

There is some photographic value through the continuous allure of whole-screen closeups of faces only, mostly of the hard-visaged elderly men in cloistered costumes. They look like stone images brought to life.

In appearance, Joan is at all times immobile in countenance and always staring into the camera when she isn’t washing tears off her face.

Le Passion de Jeanne D'Arc

France

Production

SGF. Director Carl Dreyer; Screenplay Carl Dreyer, Joseph Delteil; Camera Rudolph Mate; Art Director Hermann Warm, Jean Hugo

Crew

Silent. (B&W) Available on DVD. Extract of a review from 1928. Running time: 114 MIN.

With

Maria Falconetti Eugene Silvain Antonin Artaud Maurice Schutz Andre Berly Michel Simon

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  1. A shining example of how tired (see: “tiresome”), and otherwise projecting (see: “trauma”) the reviewers were of their own times. It’s amazing to me that of all possible characters it was this particular Sainte who acted again as martyr for the sake of others’ livelihoods. Obviously, this reviewer should have stayed at home with his tooth powder and secret gin; what a leather strop.

  2. Grace MacFarlane says:

    What an utterly ignorant review. How on earth did you get this job? Moronic.

    • timgray2013 says:

      This is an abbreviated version of the original review that ran in 1927. So we may never know how the reviewer got their job.
      Tim Gray, Variety senior VP

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