An actor who I feel is overlooked far too often, perhaps unlucky to find success in the same decade as…
Joan of Arc
She died at 19. 500 years later her legend lives on!
Ten years before her death, Joan hears voices. Six years later, from the village of Domremy, she begins her mission to unite France under King Charles. First she leads a defense of Vaucouleurs against the Burgundians, then obtains safe passage to Charles, the Dauphin. He uses her, as the embodiment of the mythical "Maid of Lorraine," to raise an army, and he sends her to the rescue of Orléans. After Charles is crowned, Joan leads a disastrous campaign in Paris, where her brother dies. Then she's the victim of Charles's manipulations: she's captured in Burgundy, sold to the English, examined by Bishop Cauchon, found a heretic by the Inquisition, and burned at the stake.
Part of my ongoing Peter O'Toole project, this film retells the story of Jeanne d'Arc, a young uneducated girl who successfully led the French army during some of the battles of the Hundred Years' War. She heard the voice of a saint who gave her instructions from God, but was burnt at the stake for heresy aged just 19.
The film recounts history fairly accurately as far as I can see and interestingly makes no judgement of the voices she heard. Peter O'Toole was excellent as the Cauchon, the prelate who had advised the Dauphin and later put Jeanne on trial, the reasons why acted as he did were explained well. I found the American voices playing French characters odd, and disliked the soundtrack - their account of the Maid of Orleans could have done with some of this :-)
It's all a bit of a mess but it gets better towards the end.
History, France, War
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
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There are a few instances in which movies with extremely similar plots are released very close to one another. Here…