Mireielle Francisco

Written by Mireielle Francisco

Modified & Updated: 01 Jun 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Source: Max.com

The Passion of Joan of Arc is a landmark film that has left a lasting impact on cinema and storytelling. Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer, this silent historical drama depicts the trial and execution of Joan of Arc, a young French woman who claimed to have been guided by divine visions. Released in 1928, the movie stands as a masterpiece of film-making, known for its starkly realistic portrayal of emotions and its innovative use of close-ups. In this article, we will delve into 35 fascinating facts about The Passion of Joan of Arc, shedding light on the making of the film, the performances of the cast, and the enduring legacy it has left in the cinematic world.

Key Takeaways:

  • “The Passion of Joan of Arc” is a silent French historical film from 1928, known for its intense portrayal of Joan’s trial and influential use of close-ups, making it a cinematic masterpiece.
  • Renée Jeanne Falconetti’s performance as Joan of Arc is widely regarded as one of the greatest in cinema history, adding to the film’s timeless appeal.
Table of Contents

The Passion of Joan of Arc is a silent French historical film.

Released in 1928, the film is considered a landmark of cinema and was directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer.

The film is based on the trial and execution of Joan of Arc.

It depicts the events leading up to her death and showcases an intense portrayal of her trial.

The lead role of Joan of Arc was played by Renée Jeanne Falconetti.

Falconetti’s performance is widely regarded as one of the greatest in the history of cinema.

The film was shot using multiple close-ups.

This technique was used to capture the emotional intensity of the characters and is considered groundbreaking.

The movie was heavily censored upon its initial release.

It faced significant backlash from religious and political groups due to its portrayal of a religious figure.

The original version of the film was lost for many years.

It was later rediscovered and restored, allowing audiences to experience Dreyer’s masterpiece in its intended form.

The Passion of Joan of Arc is known for its atmospheric set design.

The minimalistic and stark sets add to the overall emotional impact of the film.

The film’s score was composed by Richard Einhorn.

Einhorn’s haunting musical composition further elevates the intensity and drama of the film.

The movie was shot mostly in close-ups, capturing the raw emotions of the characters.

This approach immerses the audience in the psychological turmoil experienced by Joan of Arc.

The Passion of Joan of Arc has been studied and analyzed by film scholars for its innovative use of close-ups.

The film is often referenced as a quintessential example of the power of cinematic storytelling.

The film received critical acclaim upon its release.

Its emotionally charged performances, stunning visuals, and compelling narrative captivated audiences and critics alike.

The film has been ranked as one of the greatest films ever made.

It is recognized for its influential contribution to the art of filmmaking.

The Passion of Joan of Arc showcases the struggle between individual faith and institutional power.

This theme continues to resonate with audiences to this day.

The film’s impact can be seen in later works by renowned directors such as Ingmar Bergman and Martin Scorsese.

They have cited The Passion of Joan of Arc as a major influence on their own filmmaking style.

The movie has been praised for its strong feminist undertones.

It presents Joan of Arc as a strong and courageous woman challenging the male-dominated systems of her time.

The Passion of Joan of Arc has a runtime of approximately 82 minutes.

In this relatively short time, the film manages to leave a lasting impact on its viewers.

The film’s screenplay is based on the actual transcripts from Joan of Arc’s trial.

This adds authenticity to the events depicted in the film.

The performance of Renée Jeanne Falconetti has been described as transcendental.

Her ability to convey a wide range of emotions through her eyes and facial expressions is breathtaking.

The Passion of Joan of Arc was initially met with mixed reactions from audiences.

Some found the film too intense and emotionally draining, while others hailed it as a masterpiece.

The film’s use of unconventional camera angles adds to its visual impact.

These unique angles heighten the sense of unease and vulnerability experienced by the characters.

The Passion of Joan of Arc was named the seventh greatest film of all time by Sight & Sound’s 2012 poll of film critics.

This recognition solidifies its status as a cinematic masterpiece.

The film’s stunning cinematography is credited to Rudolph Maté.

His use of light and shadows contributes significantly to the overall aesthetic of the film.

The Passion of Joan of Arc has been praised for its realistic and non-idealized portrayal of the characters.

This approach creates a greater sense of empathy and connection with the audience.

The film’s emotional impact is heightened by the absence of background music.

This allows the audience to fully engage with the intense performances and dialogue.

The movie’s distribution was limited due to its controversial subject matter.

It was banned in several countries and faced censorship challenges in others.

The Passion of Joan of Arc has been preserved in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.

It is recognized for its cultural and historical significance.

The film’s intense emotional journey has been compared to a religious experience.

Viewers often find themselves deeply engrossed and moved by the portrayal of Joan of Arc’s struggle.

The film’s use of close-ups was intended to capture the spiritual and emotional essence of Joan of Arc.

These close-ups reveal a sense of vulnerability and inner strength.

The Passion of Joan of Arc was shot on a small budget.

Despite limited resources, the film’s artistic vision and powerful storytelling shine through.

The film’s depiction of Joan of Arc’s trial is considered one of the most accurate and compelling in cinematic history.

It offers an immersive experience that transports the audience to the courtroom of the 15th century.

The film’s restoration in the 1980s brought it back into the public eye.

It allowed a new generation of viewers to appreciate its artistic brilliance.

The Passion of Joan of Arc has been a significant influence on the works of numerous contemporary filmmakers.

Its impact can be seen in the visually striking and emotionally intense films that followed.

The film’s performances were largely improvised.

This added an element of spontaneity and authenticity to the scenes.

The Passion of Joan of Arc is a visually stunning film.

The use of light, shadows, and close-ups create a powerful and immersive viewing experience.

The film’s focus on Joan of Arc’s inner struggle and martyrdom contribute to its timeless appeal.

It remains a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant piece of cinema.


Experience the Emotional Journey of Joan of Arc

Overall, “The Passion of Joan of Arc” is a cinematic masterpiece that has captivated audiences for decades. With its hauntingly beautiful cinematography, powerful performances, and gripping storyline, the film offers a unique glimpse into the life and trials of one of history’s most iconic figures.From the incredible acting of Renée Jeanne Falconetti to the meticulous attention to detail in the set design, every aspect of the movie contributes to its overall impact. The use of close-up shots and facial expressions creates an intimate viewing experience, making it easy for viewers to empathize with Joan’s struggles and triumphs.Whether you are a film enthusiast or simply interested in historical dramas, “The Passion of Joan of Arc” is a must-watch. It not only tells the story of an extraordinary woman but also explores themes of faith, justice, and the human spirit. Prepare to be moved and inspired by this timeless classic.


1. Is “The Passion of Joan of Arc” based on a true story?

Yes, the film is based on the historical events surrounding the trial and execution of Joan of Arc, a young French woman who claimed to have been divinely ordained to lead the French army during the Hundred Years’ War.

2. Who directed “The Passion of Joan of Arc”?

The film was directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer, a Danish film director known for his innovative and artful approach to storytelling.

3. How was the film received upon its release?

Initially, the film faced controversy and was heavily censored due to its powerful portrayal of Joan of Arc’s trial and execution. However, over time, it has gained critical acclaim and is now considered one of the greatest films ever made.

4. Are there any notable performances in the movie?

Renée Jeanne Falconetti’s portrayal of Joan of Arc is widely regarded as one of the most remarkable performances in film history. Her ability to convey complex emotions with minimal dialogue is truly awe-inspiring.

5. What makes “The Passion of Joan of Arc” unique?

The film’s distinct visual style, utilizing close-ups and stark contrasts, sets it apart from other historical dramas. It immerses viewers into the emotional and psychological journey of Joan of Arc, creating a deeply intimate and profound experience.

Exploring the depths of cinematic history, "The Passion of Joan of Arc" stands as a testament to the power of storytelling. This silent masterpiece captures the essence of Joan's unwavering faith and resilience. Delving further into her captivating story, uncover more fascinating facts about the iconic heroine in our article on "The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc." For a broader perspective on French cinema, discover the allure of the COLCOA French Film Festival, celebrating the richness and diversity of French filmmaking. Lastly, take a step back in time and immerse yourself in the enchanting world of silent movie stars, whose performances continue to captivate audiences decades later.

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