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Saint Joan (1957)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 8 May 1957 (USA)
In 1456, French King Charles VII recalls the story of how he met the seventeen-year-old peasant girl Joan of Arc, entrusted her with the command of the French Army, and ultimately burned her at the stake as a heretic.

Director:

Otto Preminger
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Widmark ... The Dauphin, Charles VII
Richard Todd ... Dunois, Bastard of Orleans
Anton Walbrook ... Cauchon - Bishop of Beauvais
John Gielgud ... Earl of Warwick
Felix Aylmer ... Inquisitor
Archie Duncan Archie Duncan ... Robert de Baudricourt
Harry Andrews ... John de Stogumber
Margot Grahame ... Duchesse de la Tremouille
Barry Jones ... De Courcelles
Francis De Wolff Francis De Wolff ... La Tremouille
Finlay Currie ... Archbishop of Rheims
Victor Maddern ... English Soldier
Bernard Miles ... Master Executioner
David Oxley ... 'Bluebeard',- Gilles de Rais
Patrick Barr ... Captain La Hire
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Storyline

Young Joan of Arc comes to the palace in France to make The Dauphin King of France and is appointed to head the French Army. After winning many battles she is not needed any longer and soon she is thought of as a witch. Written by McGinty <McGinty@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Brilliant Triumph!


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 May 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Saint Joan See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$400,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Wheel Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A special effects accident caused Jean Seberg actually to catch fire in the scene where Joan of Arc is burned. (Seberg sustained only minor injuries.) See more »

Goofs

The film quotes the phrase 'God is on the side of the big battalions'. But this phrase was first said by Napoleon Bonaparte, during the 1700s. See more »

Quotes

The Dauphin, Charles VII: The moment comes when the soldier must give way to the statesman.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in computer colorized version (Hal Roach VHS) See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Closer You Get (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Burning A Saint
12 December 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The Joan of Arc story is always a hard one to deal with, especially for skeptics. Did she really hear voices, divinely inspired, that put the burden of liberating France on her 17 year old shoulders? Or should she have been locked in a loony bin?

I'm not really sure that any other culture than the French ought to be telling her story, inevitably the interpretation will fall short of the mark. It falls short here because we have two diametrically opposed viewpoints working on the treatment.

The key to this film is that it is adapted from a play by George Bernard Shaw by Graham Greene. So we have the writing of a Fabian Socialist being interpreted by one very Catholic writer. I think there's a great deal more Greene than Shaw.

Shaw gets his innings here, but I think Graham Greene dominates the film. If he had lived I'm sure Shaw would not have approved.

Charles VIII in history or as portrayed by Richard Widmark here or Jose Ferrer in the Ingrid Bergman film about Joan of Arc, is not the noblest of monarchs. If you are a good Catholic, what he did was going against the will of the Deity. Otherwise though what he tries to do in consolidating his gains makes perfect good sense.

It's funny that I did a review of Olivier's Henry V which viewed from the English point of view which shows how the French got in the situation they were in. What happens afterwards is that Henry V dies quite suddenly like Alexander the Great and England with an infant monarch and fifty year plus struggle for power implodes internally.

Before he died however Charles VII disowned his son the Dauphin and blessed the marriage of Henry V to his daughter Katherine with the provision that Henry succeed Charles VII as King. The French for good reason do not list the English Henry as one of their kings.

Enter Joan of Arc whose visions inspire an army and a nation. As played by Jean Seberg she's in the right age group to be sure. But I think Ingrid Bergman being the far more skilled professional carries it off better in her film. Ditto for Jose Ferrer instead of Richard Widmark. The best acted parts in this film are Anton Walbrook as Cauchon the Bishop who presided over the trial and the clever and serpentine John Gielgud as the Earl of Warwick.

Maybe if Otto Preminger had chosen to film pure Shaw, Saint Joan would have been better received.


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