La Marseillaise (1937)
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Jean Renoir's epic account of the French Revolution juxtaposes the opulent life of King Louis XVI with the poverty of the commoners who rose up to overthrow the monarchy in 1789. The film's title comes from the rallying song which grew out of the peasants' march on the Bastille, the song that ultimately became the French national anthem. Filmed with a cast of thousands, the focus is on two members of a large volunteer battalion who help the revolutionary army in its takeover of the Tulleries, which resulted in the publication of the Brunswick Manifesto and ultimately led to King Louis' downfall. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for La Marseillaise
It is a relief, too, to see the lingering archaism of the earlier sections of the film swept away in an astonishing last third of quiet power.
It is probably the least dramatic film ever made about one of the most dramatic events in history -- the French Revolution.
... the heady, idealistic days of the French Revolution as seen from the street, through the eyes of an idealistic group of Republicans from Marseilles...
Released on the heels of the brilliant Grand Illusion, its reception suffered from the belief that a director can't make two masterpieces in a row.
Powerful and poignant, Renoir manages to make a direct, humanist statement about the decadance of the rich and the power of the masses without fuss or extravagance, never patronising or posturing.
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