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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) (1928)

tomatometer

86

Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

94

liked it
Average Rating: 4.4/5
User Ratings: 9,882

My Rating

Movie Info

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

Nov 9, 1999

Criterion Collection

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All Critics (38) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (1) | DVD (9)

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.

May 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety | Comments (11)
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

February 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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Dreyer's most universally acclaimed masterpiece remains one of the most staggeringly intense films ever made.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is the gifted performance of Maria Falconetti as the Maid of Orleans that rises above everything in this artistic achievement.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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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.

March 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
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You cannot know the history of silent film unless you know the face of Renee Maria Falconetti.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

July 16, 2014 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

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.

January 15, 2014 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

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.

February 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

In the hands of the great Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer it becomes a potent saga of battered faith, vicious bullying and personal torment.

February 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

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.

February 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

If the cinema had a face, it would have to be that of Maria Falconetti.

August 23, 2012 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm
LarsenOnFilm

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.

November 22, 2010 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

A work of formalist beauty and emotional power, with a luminous central performance from Falconetti.

April 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

One of the most inspired and inspiring films ever made.

December 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Falconetti's shockingly modern performance as the 19-year-old Joan is a thing of irreproachable honesty and ethereal suffering.

October 10, 2005 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

Dreyer's film remains among the most strikingly unusual cinema you're ever likely to see.

July 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Carl Dreyer's silent classic feaures a mesmerizing Maria Falconetti performance.

May 28, 2005
Kansas City Kansan

Blazing in its intensity, and overwhelming in its poetry.

July 4, 2004 Full Review Source: Killer Movie Reviews
Killer Movie Reviews

One of the great last gasps of the silent era, Dreyer's classic presents, in a staggering series of close-ups, Joan's trial before her inquisitors.

February 24, 2004 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

In this film Joan again stands accused, and her long silences and simple answers continue to frustrate and confound.

November 3, 2003 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide
Decent Films Guide

Audience Reviews for The Passion of Joan of Arc (La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc)

Tonight, Sunday 7/22 Midnight E.S.T.

Turner Classics
July 22, 2007
brooklynspo

Super Reviewer

Very simple and minimalistic, yet very compelling and harrowing.

What I found intriguing - and a bit bizarre, knowing how meticulous Dreyer could be - was that single shot where one of the priests was clearly seen wearing 20th century glasses. Why would he have left it in? Was it a reference to someone?
December 21, 2013
vierasesine

Super Reviewer

With breathtaking visuals and a potent story, it's hard to believe this was released in 1928.
October 27, 2011
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

Four stars for the film, an extra half of a star for how utterly brilliant Falconetti is. Whether it was Dreyer's idea to make her kneel upon stone or her own prowess in acting that allowed her to give such a painfully passionate and nuanced performance, it is simply breathtaking. As for the film itself, it really never lets you go. Without any establishing shots, the viewer is plunged face first into the drama. From the accusers to the accused, there is a real sense of vehemence that all of the actors exude.
It is passionate, relentless, and beautiful all at the same time. While I don't think I will revisit this more than one time in a decade, It is none the less an important film and displays the power that actors such as Falconetti can have in a film.
February 25, 2011
axadntpron
Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Die Passion der Jungfrau von Orléans (DE)
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc (UK)
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