Cindy I (webalina)Piney Woods of East Texas
Cindy's Favorite Movies
Silent French film based of the transcripts of the trial of Joan of Arc. I just saw this again, for the fourth time. Renee Maria Falconetti's performance as Joan of Arc is astounding. It's so good you almost can't believe you're not watching news footage of the actual trial. Is this the best filmed performance ever? It's hard to believe this was her only film. The mind reels at what else she could have done had she stayed in the film business. But almost as effective is the end when Joan is burned at the stake. It is done in fairly graphic detail for the time, and it makes you feel totally emotionally drained after sitting through it. But even more it made me question the motives of a religious institution that would put someone through an ordeal like this, supposedly with God's approval. If you never see another silent film in your life, see this one. And make sure to see the version with Richard Einhorn's newly-composed "Voices of Light" score.
There are no words to accurately describe how good this film is. It justly made Humphrey Bogart a mega-star with his portrayal of private eye Sam Spade. Everything about this film noir thriller -- the cast (Mary Astor, Peter Lorre and an Oscar-winning turn from 62 year old Sidney Greenstreet in his first film role), the direction (John Huston's first of many fine directing efforts), the crackling script which closely follows the Dashiell Hammett novel of the same name -- is perfect. What is the Maltese Falcon? Why do they want it? What will they do to get it? Get the answers to these questions by seeing this film as soon as possible, and then seeing it again...and again.