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Criterion Collection: Joan of Arc [DVD] [1928] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Region 1 encoding. (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the UK [Region 2]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Product details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0780022343
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 113,159 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Home Vision Cinema and The Criterion Collection are proud to present the home video premiere of Carl Dreyer's digitally-remastered cinematic triumph. Features Richard Einhorn's brilliant orchestral piece "Voices Of Light," and a demonstration of the film's restoration.

Customer Reviews

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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Criterion have come up trumps again with this great DVD of Carl Dreyer's legendary 1928 silent film. This is the most complete print known to exist, the so-called 'Oslo version', which was discovered in a Norwegian mental hospital of all places in 1981.
The transfer is superb, made all the more so by the option of playing the film with Richard Einhorn's superb 'Voices of Light' score. The DVD also features a commentary and an interview with Falconetti's daughter. If you love great films, this is a must-have.
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"The Passion of Joan of Arc" is a silent film in black and white, directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer (1889-1968). It is not exactly the kind of movie I usually rent, but it is excellent, and I certainly don't regret having watched it.

The plot is based on the preserved transcripts of Joan of Arc's 1431 trial, in which she was accused of being under the influence of the devil, and condemned to die. Even though this film doesn't have colors, and despite the fact you cannot hear what the characters say, it is very easy to be enthralled by the way in which Dreyer tells this story. It is a real event, and he reenacts it for us.

This film is heartwrenching, but also powerful, and extremely well-made. In my opinion, "The Passion of Joan of Arc" is a classic you simply must see, even if you don't generally watch silent movies. After all, if you join a genius like Dreyer and someone with the talent and expressive face of the actress that plays Joan (Maria Falconetti), why do they need words for?

Belen Alcat
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In 1920 Joan of Arc was canonized by the Catholic church.The peasant girl who believed she had direct communion with God,protesting she was a valid vessel for God's word and as part of her mission dressed like a man to drive the English out of France.She defended what she'd done over many months of interrogation,even tried to integrate by wearing woman's dress,then stepped back from it and recanted,after cracking.Deemed heretic by the church tribunal for the fact she wore men's clothes and that she believed she was sent by God to save France,obeying the voices of God or angels.She'd outlived her usefulness for the French,the English and Burgundians had come to a deal.For Charles to have anything to do with her would be heresy.She was burned at the stake in 1431 Rouen.The retrial 20 years later found her innocent, when the French had recovered Normandy and Rouen,and it was politically expedient.The Joan we know is a creation of the 19th century 3rd Republic when different parties claimed her as a figure of national unity.Dreyer concentrates on trial and execution to focus on her inescapable fate.

Dreyer has a sympathy for women in his work and hates their oppression.Dreyer is regarded as the greatest artist in Danish cinema,though it was in France he directed his 1st masterpiece,The Passion of Joan of Arc(1928),with its remarkable leading performance by Renee Falconetti in her only screen role.This film inspired Godard and he shows Nana,his heroine in Vivre Sa Vivre moved to tears by another woman whose fate is decided by men. Dreyer's Joan of Arc was a 'hymn to the triumph of the soul over life'.
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Hard to describe this film. It is intriguing and parts of it are excellent. There are some wonderful choices of personaggi and character studies by a very good cameraman.

We all know the story so well that there are no surprises - save that of Joan herself. Her overwhelming expression of pious fanaticism is very disconcerting initially though one does get used to it and she does in places move one emotionally.

The film, of course, is silent but the musical sound-track is beautifully and aptly wrought and undoubtedly enhances the director's intentions. Altogether I believe this is a useful and worthwhile account of the Passion of Jeanne d'Arc and will be of special interest to lovers and collectors of unusual cinema.
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The Passion of Joan of Arc is based on the records of the 1431 trial that led to Joan of Arc being convicted of heresy and burned at the stake. In the film, the month-long process is condensed into a much shorter time frame. Alone, Jeanne must face a large assembly of priests and monks who bombard her with questions to pressure her into admitting that her visions were not sent by God, but even under threat of torture she stands fast. She is so ill that the judges dare not torture her, but under threat of burning at the stake they make her sign a statement that her visions were false. She soon retracts, however, and she is burned alive. Her death impresses the onlookers as martyrdom and the crowd rises up in rebellion against their oppressors.
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