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J'accuse! (1919)

J'accuse (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Horror, War | 25 April 1919 (France)
The story of two men, one married, the other the lover of the other's wife, who meet in the trenches of the First World War, and how their tale becomes a microcosm for the horrors of war.

Director:

Abel Gance

Writer:

Abel Gance
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Cast

Credited cast:
Romuald Joubé ... Jean Diaz
Maxime Desjardins ... Maria Lazare
Séverin-Mars ... François Laurin
Angèle Guys Angèle Guys ... Angele
Maryse Dauvray Maryse Dauvray ... Edith Laurin
Mancini Mancini ... Jean's Mother
Elizabeth Nizan Elizabeth Nizan
Pierre Danis Pierre Danis
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Blaise Cendrars Blaise Cendrars
Paul Duc Paul Duc ... Orphan
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Storyline

The story of two men, one married, the other the lover of the other's wife, who meet in the trenches of the First World War, and how their tale becomes a microcosm for the horrors of war.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

in which hate, jealousy, intolerance and envy all come in for picture condemnation. (Print Ad- Greensboro Daily News, ((Greensboro, NC)) 14 November 1923)

Genres:

Drama | Horror | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

25 April 1919 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

J'accuse! See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Pathé Frères See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Black and White (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Blaise Cendrars: the assistant director for the film had joined the French foreign legion during WWI (he was a Swiss citizen) and lost an arm in the battle. He can be seen playing at the end of the movie when the dead soldiers stand up. See more »

Quotes

Title Card: Chance does not like secrets.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Classic
25 June 2008 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

J'Accuse! (1919)

*** (out of 4)

The French masters 166-minute epic tells the story of two soldiers, Francois (Severin-Mars) and Jean (Romuald Joube), both in love with the same woman but she is married to the much older Francois but has an affair with Jean. This is very impressive film from French director Gance but I think it falls short compared to his two classic epics that would follow this one. I think this films biggest problem is its running time, which seems a tad bit too long especially a few of the talking scenes, which run on and on. On the technical side this film is nearly flawless with Gance taking the influence of Griffith and really pushing it to a new level. The most impressive thing in the film are the amazing war scenes, which are downright brilliant and they really make you feel as if you are a part of the action. The scenes with the men in the trenches contain some great atmosphere and the sense of dread runs throughout these scenes. The most famous sequence in the film, and in film history, is the "March of the Dead" sequence, which takes nearly twenty-minutes and comes towards the end of the movie. This is certainly one of the most eerie and haunting sequences in film history and the main reason this anti-war film is still remembered today. The way Gance points the finger at the folks who weren't in the war and either living it up having fun or making money off the war, comes off very creepy and the message is certainly right there on the screen. The effects used to show the dead walking are very well done and the atmosphere here is so thick that you'll feel as if you can feel them walking towards you. The performances are all very good with Mars and Joube really sticking out. As I said, I think the film runs a tad bit too long but this is still a very impressive film with one of the greatest sequences in film history.


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