Joan of Arc – 1948 – English
History film directed in 1948 by Victor Fleming, and starring Ingrid Bergman, José Ferrer, Francis L. Sullivan, Ward Bond, John Ireland, Richard Derr, Ray Teal, Roman Bohnen, Selena Royle…
Synopsis: In the Fifteenth Century, France is a defeated and ruined nation after the One Hundred Years War against England. The fourteen years old farm girl Joan of Arc claims to hear voices from Heaven asking her to lead God’s Army against Orleans and crowning the weak Dauphin Charles VII as King of France. Joan gathers the people with her faith, forms an army and conquerors Orleans. When her army is ready to attack Paris, the corrupt Charles sells his country to England and dismiss the army. Joan is arrested, sold to the Burgundians England and submitted to a shameful political trial in Rouen castle.
Review: There are rare moments on film where the actor gives and gives and gives. This is Ingrid Bergman at her best. Her monologues are magnificent. Her timing, her rhythm, the delivery of her lines are transcendent. Not only for Bergman fans, or fans of Joan of Arc, it is the best version of the film. You cannot beat this greatness of spirit. Many have tried, but none have succeeded. Highly recommended for those who love film, for sure, for those who teach film, and for those who teach acting. It is our great fortune that we live in an era of DVD technology, to have such quality of reproduction, matching the quality of acting. And Victor Fleming – well, he had the great karma and good fortune to be associated with some of the most fascinating films of the studio system, and fascinating actors on the big screen.