100 Movies in 100 Days / Movies

100 Years of Movies in 100 Days – Day 19 – The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

Maria Falconetti as Joan of Arc before she is burned at the cross in, "The Passion of Joan of Arc"

Maria Falconetti as Joan of Arc before she is burned at the cross in, "The Passion of Joan of Arc"

I think my favorite part of this movie isn’t the movie itself but the history of it. Back in 1928, it was censored and the original copy was burned in a fire. A subsequent second copy edited together from scraps  and alternate takes was also presumed lost in a fire. Then, in 1981, a Danish copy was found in excellent condition in the closet of a Norwegian mental institution! By 1985, the film has been completely restored to viewing quality.

The found the movie quite annoying though because I spent most of the time trying to read the actor’s lips since most of the shots are close-ups. And while doing so, I would miss the subtitles at the bottom of the screen. But ultimately, you don’t really need to know everything that’s going on. Everyone is familiar with the story of Joan of Arc and if you’re not then read this. And frankly, the last ten minutes of this movie capture the disturbing and disheartening emotion that runs throughout this movie.

In the end, the subtitles read that the fires shielded Joan’s soul as she passed into heaven. They fail to mention that the flames also probably hurt like hell as they burned her flesh!

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