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Saint Joan (1957)

aka Saint Joan

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 110 mins · English

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Cast:

Small Earl of Warwick
No_movie_poster Baudricourt's Steward
No_movie_poster English Soldier
No_movie_poster Captain of Warwick's Guard
No_movie_poster La Tremouille
Small Duchesse de la Tremouille
Small Dunois, Bastard of Orleans
Small Captain La Hire
Small Archbishop of Rheims
No_movie_poster Brother Martin Ladvenu
No_movie_poster Inquisitor
Small Cauchon - Bishop of Beauvais
Small St.Joan of Arc
Small Master Executioner
Small De Courcelles
Small John de Stogumber
Small The Dauphin, Charles VII
No_movie_poster 'Bluebeard',- Gilles de Rais

Crew:

Small Otto Preminger Director
Small Otto Preminger Production
No_movie_poster Graham Greene Writer
Small George Bernard Shaw Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Helga Cranston Editing

Plot:

In 1456, Charles VII, experiences dreams in which he is visited by Joan of Arc, the former commander of his army, burned at the stake as a heretic twenty-five years earlier. In the dream he tells Joan that her case was retried and her sentence annulled. He recalls how she entered his life as a simple, seventeen-year-old peasant girl; how she heard the voices of Saints Catherine and Margaret telling her that she would lead the French army against the English at the siege of Orléans and be responsible for having the Dauphin crowned king at Rheims cathedral. When Joan arrives at the Dauphin's palace at Chinon she discovers that he is a childish weakling with no interest in fighting. After being tested by the members of the court, who conclude that she is mad, Joan imbues the Dauphin with her belief and fervor and he gives her command of the army.


Shortly thereafter, Joan witnesses the coronation of Charles. Although her military triumphs have made her popular with the masses, her voices, beliefs, self-confidence and apparent supernatural powers have given her fearful enemies in high places. Charles, who has no further use for her services, expects her to return to her father's farm. When Joan challenges Charles to retake Paris from the English, he tells her he would rather sign a treaty than fight. All refuse Joan's plea to march on Paris, and the archbishop warns her that if she defies her spiritual directors, the church will disown her. Nevertheless, Joan puts her faith in God and appeals to the common people to march on Paris. She is captured and handed over to the English. To assure that Joan will never again become a threat to England, the English commander hands her over to the Catholic Church to be tried for heresy. Joan spends four months in a cell and is visited frequently by the Inquisitor. The English become impatient with the delay in her prosecution and press for the trial to begin. Joan holds to her faith, as always, refusing to deny that the church is wiser than she or her voices.


In a moment of panic and worn down by the constant pressures applied by the Inquisitior, Joan signs a document of recantation in which she confesses that she pretended to hear revelations from God and the saints in the belief that this will result in her freedom to return to her life as a peasant girl. When she learns that the sentence of the Inquisition is her perpetual, solitary imprisonment, Joan destroys the document, refusing to face a life away from nature, the life that opened her spirit to hear God and the saints. She now believes that God wants her to come to him through the ordeal of being burned at the stake. After Joan is excommunicated, the English commander, weary of the Church's endless and delaying rituals, decides that Joan can be executed long before the Vatican learns about it, and so orders his soldiers to drag her to the square to be burned. The Inquisitor chooses to look the other way and let the English burn her. Those who witness Joan's death are stricken with remorse. The King's dream continues as he and Joan are visited by other significant figures from her life. Growing weary of all the spirit visitors, Charles tells Joan he has dreamed of her long enough and returns to his bed and his troubled sleep.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1957-05-08 : United States of America

Theatrical : 1957-06-26 : United States of America

Theatrical : Austria

Theatrical : 1957-09-27 : West Germany

Theatrical : 1957-11-22 : Finland

Theatrical : 1958-02-10 : Sweden

Theatrical : 1959-08-10 : Denmark

2012-08-04 : Switzerland