Joan the Woman (1916)

Article 5287 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 11-2-2016
Directed by Cecil B. DeMille
Featuring Geraldine Farrar, Raymond Hatton, Hobart Bosworth
Country: USA
What it is: Biography

The story of Joan of Arc is told.

Given that Joan of Arc heard voices and saw visions of angels, the fantastic content is already built into the story. However, the movie as such augments that content by having a few minor miracles (such as having Joan identify the true king of France when she is presented to a pretender) and by adding a framing story which throws reincarnation into the mix as well. Now I’m not intimately familiar with the full story of Joan of Arc, so I can’t say for sure what is true to the story and what is made up, but moments of this movie don’t ring true; certainly, the romance/betrayal subplot seems fake and largely exists to connect the framing story to the main biography. As for the movie itself, some of the spectacle is quite impressive during the Orleans battle sequence, some of it is silly (the flower sequence), and some of it is rather dull; the last third of the movie in particular drags badly. All in all, the movie was okay but too long, and it didn’t really blow me away.


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