Joan of Arc (1948)

Approved   |    |  Biography, Drama, History

Joan of Arc (1948) Poster

The abbreviated life of the 15th Century French heroine.

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  • Winona Ryder at an event for Joan of Arc (1948)
  • Ingrid Bergman in Joan of Arc (1948)
  • Ingrid Bergman in Joan of Arc (1948)
  • Joan of Arc (1948)
  • José Ferrer in Joan of Arc (1948)
  • Jennifer Beals at an event for Joan of Arc (1948)

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Cast & Crew

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Victor Fleming


Maxwell Anderson (play), Maxwell Anderson (screenplay), Andrew Solt (screenplay)

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

9 November 2004 | pacificgroove
I have seen the DVD, full length version--a very flawed film with some redeeming aspects
A very poor film translation of a stage play--rather than being tailored to the movie medium, this is very stagy, overly talky. The dialogue is arty and artificial. Everyone is obviously acting, giving a performance, though Bergman is radiant and her performance is passionate and sincere.

All of the exteriors (outdoor shots) which feature close ups of the lead actors are obviously shot on a sound stage. Some beautiful outdoor footage is used occasionally for establishing shots or transitions between scenes, but Bergman never leaves the soundstage.

On the positive side, the film is beautifully photographed, many individual shots are works of art, masterfully lit and composed. However, the camera moves only when necessary to follow the actors, the shots are static, adding to the staginess of the production. Which reminds me of CB DeMille; you could get a good idea of this film by saying it's like a DeMille film, only with more high art pretensions and less spectacle (no cast of thousands here).

The most outstanding aspect of 'Joan of Arc' is the music, it's prominently featured, good and loud, and it deserves to be--it's gorgeous.

The DVD has no extras at all, though the image and sound are excellent--a very good restoration job. A commentary track would have been very welcome; my guess is this was a challenging production, possibly with a long production period (three cinematographers are listed). It was a commercial failure, at least in part because of public condemnation of Bergman's personal life. I believe director Victor Flemming died soon after production. Lots of meat here for an interesting commentary or two.

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