Passion of Joan

The Passion of Joan of Arc

The Passion of Joan of Arc

One of the most influential films of all time just happens to be about one of the most influential humans of all time; Joan of Arc. The movie, The Passion of Joan of Arc, released in 1928, is considered to be a landmark of cinema. The film details the last few hours of Joan of Arc after she was captured by the English. Through her trial, imprisonment, torture and execution, the story follows the format of a passion play. It was an amazing film for its time because it put a great deal of emphasis on the facial features of the actors, and the director even denied the actor's the use of makeup feeling the story would be told better through their expressions.

The movie is a silent one for the simple reason that the director, Carl Theodor Dreyer, could not get the funding he needed to put sound into the movie. The movie starred Renee Jeanne Falconetti, who was commended for her unbelievable performance as Joan of Arc. Pauline Kael, an influential critic for the New Yorker said that her portrayal of Joan of Arc “may be the finest performance ever recorded on film”

Joan of Arc miracles play a big part in the movie, depicted through the trial that condemned her claims as heresy. The Passion Joan of Arc was widely praised throughout its run in theatres, but it was banned in England due to some comparisons of Joan of Arc to Jesus Christ in the film. However, despite that, it became one of the greatest films of the early years of cinema, and is even used today as a way to teach directors how great films can be made.

The Passion of Joan of Arc appeared on Sight and Sound’s top ten films of all time three times. In 1952 and 1972 it was ranked as number seven, while in 1992 it was ranked as number ten on the Critic’s list and number six on the Director’s List. Premiere Magazine named the performance of Falconetti as the 26th greatest of all time, while the film was named the eight greatest film of the 20th century by the Village Voice.

Clearly, only Joan of Arc could be the basis of a historical movie that is considered to be so influential, that for some it even goes beyond the myth of the person itself. Who knows how many people were inspired by this movie of Joan of Arc to try their hand at writing and directing themselves.

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