Good movies & documentaries about Joan of Arc?

Hello all,

I’m looking for some good movies and documentaries about St. Joan of Arc, but I’m having a difficult time procuring some good material does justice to her. Especially in terms of historical accuracy. Can you folks recommend some?

It’s strange…for the saint with some of the most abundant historical data about her, (even words from her own trials!), she is horribly distorted & defamed in mainstream media.

Anyway, these are the ones I found already. If anyone can comment on their accuracy & rate them, please do (though I already have some impressions from reviews).

Movies:

Joan of Arc (2001) with Leelee Sobieski. I watched it up to the part when Joan made a war cry about sending an enemy general to hell before he got peppered with arrows, then turned it off. :rolleyes:
**The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc **(1999) with Milla Jovovich. Never watched it, but I understand it to be an awful misrepresentation of St. Joan, and made her out to be a schizophrenic psychopath. Probably the most prevalent (or easily found) depiction of Joan of Arc today on film.
Joan of Arc (1948), with Ingrid Bergman. I’ve seen bits of it, and it seemed nice enough, but doesn’t seem to be highly regarded.
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928). Critics love this movie, but I admit I felt sleepy watching it.

Documentaries:

Deadliest Warrior: Joan of Arc vs. William the Conqueror. For lulz
In Search of History: Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc: Child of War, Soldier of God
Joan The Maid - The Battles / The Prisons
The Real Joan of Arc Seen bits of this…an “expose”
Warrior Women: Joan of Arc

I’ve seen the Ingrid Bergman one (a bit staid) and the silent one; the latter was very intense.

I have seen the silent movie about Joan of Arc and thought it was pretty good. Although I think it was a little gruesome at the end.

Not a fan of the silent movie, maybe because I’m sort of read up on Joan of Arc, and her general personality. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for the input though!

Your welcome, good luck with your search!

Joan of Arc (2001) with Leelee Sobieski. I watched it up to the part when Joan made a war cry about sending an enemy general to hell before he got peppered with arrows, then turned it off. :rolleyes:
****The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc ****(1999) with Milla Jovovich. Never watched it, but I understand it to be an awful misrepresentation of St. Joan, and made her out to be a schizophrenic psychopath. Probably the most prevalent (or easily found) depiction of Joan of Arc today on film.
Joan of Arc (1948), with Ingrid Bergman. I’ve seen bits of it, and it seemed nice enough, but doesn’t seem to be highly regarded.
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928). Critics love this movie, but I admit I felt sleepy watching it.

There is no good movie about Joan of Arc. They all stink.

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928). was a silent film. As such, it could not get Joan’s real personality across. So the actress has to mug a lot, and exaggerate emotions to the point of being psychotic. Joan was not like that. At the burning of the stake scene the townspeople tried to stop the execution and the English soldiers attacked them. Nothing like that happened. Why did they change history? Because the film was silent. They had to wake up the audience somehow.

Joan of Arc (1948), with Ingrid Bergman. Thirty-four year old Bergman, was too old, too tall, and too depressing to play Joan. Joan was nothing like the character played by Bergman.
There was much in the movie about the Voices abandoning Joan. Bergman had a long weepy scene in which she complained to God about not sending the Voices to her any more. This junk may have brought tears to eye of live audiences at the stage play upon which the movie is based, but it had nothing to do with the truth. Joan constansly stated at her trial that the Voices appeared to her every day in her prison cell.
The movie shows only one battle scene, and Bergman does not hold a weapon. The truth is Joan was in at least a dozen battles all over NorthCentral France and she did carry weapons and take part in the fighting. She was wounded by an arrow while climbing a ladder up the enemy’s fortress wall.

Joan of Arc (2001) with Leelee Sobieski. Leelee was at least the right age, sixteen, but she had no acting ability at all. She was like a kid picked out at random from the nearest high school.
The personal characteristics of Joan, so evident in the historical records, were not captured by Leelee.
The movie indicated that Bishop Cauchon put Joan on trial as revenge for something she said at a dinner with French King Charles. This is nonsense. Joan never say Cauchon before she was captured, and indeed Cauchon would not get anywhere hear King Charles. They were enemies.
The movie showed Cauchon instructing a guard to go into Joan’s cell and rape her. We know from Joan’s own words on the last day of her life that this didn’t happen: “Must this body so far undefiled now be burned to ashes in a woeful death?”

**The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc **(1999) with Milla Jovovich. This movie was so full of lies I lost count in ten minutes, and Joan hadn’t even left her village yet.
A prominent Los Angelos film critic said of this movie: “I have never used the word vulgar to describe a movie until now.”
This movie was trash, garbage, junk, lies, the product of inferior minds, and totally without redeeming social value.
37 year old ( !!! :bigyikes: ) Milla was temporarily married to the film’s director which was how she got the part. She was a model who was getting too old for modeling so she wanted a movie career. Since 1999 she has appeared in grade B horror films largely ignored by people of taste.

Depressing, but honest thoughts - thanks! :thumbsup:

I’m glad I didn’t watch the Bergman and Jovovich ones…they sound pretty bad…watching them would probably just upset me.

A bit too late for me to avoid watching Passion though; I didn’t like how they made Joan seem like a weak-willed crybaby in facing her accusers, when the trial records show she was anything but.

I will cry in joy if an accurate, positive portrayal of Joan of Arc ever escapes from Hollywood.

Guess all that’s left are the documentaries :frowning:

The only one I saw was the one with Leelee Sobieski. After watching it I found a commentary and it pointed out, in particular, that she would definitely not (and did not) say those words about sending the soldier to hell.

The critique pointed out that there were several other changes they made that weren’t true.

They did say that in spite of all the criticism it had, that it was the most spiritual one that was portrayed from Hollywood so far.

Perhaps if someone did a study of all the documents they had on her, and they studied the history of the times as well, and wanted to do it from an authentic Catholic perspective…then it would be great.

While the quality of movies about the saint are dubious, a few books are helpful.

My favorite is Joan: The Mysterious Life of the Heretic Who Became a Saint by Donald Spoto. A well-documented and nuanced book that captures Jeanne d’Arc through the perspective of eyewitnesses very well.

Two more movies:

St Joan – a film version of George Bernard Shaw’s play

The Trial of Joan of Arc – script was taken from the transcripts of the trial.

Have not seen either so I don’t know how good/accurate they are.

I read Spoto’s book and second the recomendation.

Mark Twain’s bigraphy is also highly regarded.

List of Joan of Arc films

Mark Twain’s bigraphy is also highly regarded.

Twain wrote five drafts for his book which his wife didn’t like. Finally, he wrote the sixth draft which she did like and he published it.
He makes up some stuff. For example, somebody from her village accompanies her to the wars and somehow manages to be close to her right up to her death. Of course, this was impossible. Twain did this to keep a steady flow to the story.
The giant soldier called Dwarf was another invention. He symbolized the large nation of France which had been losing battles one after another and was ready to give up before Joan came along and changed everything.

They best book I’ve found on Joan is Joan of Arc: By Herself and Her Witnesses
by Regine Pernoud. It gives a very complete story of Joan, with many details you won’t find elsewhere. But it’s diffecult reading. In order to get all this info in Pernoud didn’t waste time dramatizing and editorially commenting like other authors do.

Pernoud also wrote Joan of Arc: By Herself and Her Witnesses
But only half the book is a bio of Joan, and much detail is left out. The other half of the book consists of short biographies of all the characters who met Joan. That has some interest to Joan fans, ( what happened to Bishop Cauchon? what happned to King Charles? ) but is irrelevant to most people._

The late Hank Reinhardt (Atlanta Cutlery co-founder, honorary Grandmaster of ARMA) said he walked out of that one, but later heard heckler’s in the audience kept yelling out “BURN THE WITCH!”

I happened to first see it at a movie night at a Catholic Parish sponsored by the priest :eek:–where and who shall remain nameless other than I was not surprised that the particular priest later joined an ultra-liberal schismatic group
:shrug:

On TBN, I once saw the Shaw version (B&W)–Like CS Lewis, Shaw found it really difficult to shake off his Ulster Protestant upbringing, so of course Joan comes off as a proto-Protestant and proto-feminist as well

I saw that one too and it really offended me that movie about her did try to take away from her Catholic identity and any one who has read any authentic writings about her know that she was devout in her Catholic faith

On TBN, I once saw the Shaw version (B&W)–Like CS Lewis, Shaw found it really difficult to shake off his Ulster Protestant upbringing, so of course Joan comes off as a proto-Protestant and proto-feminist as well

Joan had what amounted to her own personal priest accompany her on all her war campaigns. She constantly encouraged her soldiers to attend daily Mass with her and many did.
She was no more Protestant than the Pope.

Fixed :wink:

It is indeed a tough read for me, and I’m always forgetting names and such :stuck_out_tongue:

Just got this today…and considering the above posts, amusingly, it opens with a a line from George Bernard Shaw’s play. Does this mean I should get ready to chuck it, and re-read Pernoud’s book instead? I was looking for a easier read than Pernoud, but I’m tired of sorting through more books containing distortions of Joan’s life.

Sad…and I’m sure this is just the reaction the filmmaker wanted. Is the truth so much to ask? I’m beginning to think there’s some kind of anti-Joan of Arc conspiracy out there. :hypno:

Is the truth so much to ask? I’m beginning to think there’s some kind of anti-Joan of Arc conspiracy out there. :hypno:

It is when you’re out to bash the Catholic Church.

A secular Joan of Arc’s life would be described accurately,

although a secular Joan of Arc’s life couldn’t happen. :smiley:

Ah, I should’ve caught that…it’s one of the reasons I ended up at the Catholic Answers forum to begin with :banghead:

:thumbsup: It was my desire to find miracles in profane history (as Mark Twain called it) that brought me to Joan in the first place!

Anyway, I caught this youtube EWTN video on Joan of Arc:

youtube.com/watch?v=4swFNBNVztQ

If anyone knows more easy to find internet videos, please post :thumbsup:

This movie seemed to pop out to me amongst the smorgasbord of Joan of Arc media:
**
The Trial of Joan of Arc (1962) by Robert Bresson**

Looks good from the bits I’ve saw on youtube…anyone seen it?

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