The Passion of Joan of Arc (La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc)
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The Passion of Joan of Arc (La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc)
The Passion of Joan of Arc (La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc) is widely regarded as Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer's finest achievement and one of the greatest films of all time. Dreyer recreates the trial and execution of St. Joan with near-documentary authenticity, as if one were present at the actual 15th century event and both defendant and accusers were the genuine article. The director's use of huge, probing close-ups -- detailing every pockmark and even the saliva at the sides of the mouths -- adds a shocking immediacy which makes it hard to believe that this film is nearly… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"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."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"It is the gifted performance of Maria Falconetti as the Maid of Orleans that rises above everything in this artistic achievement."
‑ Mordaunt Hall, New York Times
"While strong with French nationalistic sentiment, it was made by a Danish director and a German designer, but its powerful message speaks to people of all nations."
‑ Claire Litton, PopMatters
"In the hands of the great Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer it becomes a potent saga of battered faith, vicious bullying and personal torment."
‑ Thomas H Green, Daily Telegraph
"A wondrously composed cathedral of light and shadow that departs from one text to establish another, parallel cosmos based on the architecture of the human face."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"Dreyer's radical approach to constructing space and the slow intensity of his mobile style make this "difficult" in the sense that, like all the greatest films, it reinvents the world from the ground up."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Few films have earned classic status more than Carl Dreyer's 1928 silent study of the 15th-Century teenager who helped lead French troops against the British only to be tried as a heretic."
‑ John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press
"This was Falconetti's only major film and over a period of a year under Dreyer's direction (a combination of cruelty and patience), her extraordinarily expressive face made for one of the greatest, most harrowing screen performances."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"It's hard to think of another film that contains such anguish, such inner torture, that turns watching a plain old movie into a spiritual experience."
‑ , Total Film
"A work of formalist beauty and emotional power, with a luminous central performance from Falconetti."
‑ , Film4
"Dreyer's most universally acclaimed masterpiece remains one of the most staggeringly intense films ever made."
‑ Tony Rayns, Time Out
"You cannot know the history of silent film unless you know the face of Renee Maria Falconetti."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"With her wide and expressive eyes, eyes that lock onto the spectator, conveying both hope and despair in the same instant, Falconetti delivers one of the most sublime and gripping of film acting performances."
‑ Paul Brenner, Filmcritic.com
"If the cinema had a face, it would have to be that of Maria Falconetti."
‑ Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm
"One of the most inspired and inspiring films ever made."
‑ David Parkinson, Empire Magazine