A powerful drama of the French Revolution depicting how high-minded ideals become the victims of the flawed human beings who espouse them, only to subvert them. The movie gives you a strong sense of the squalor of the French masses in this Revolutionary era and is magnificently filmed. The dialogue (in French) is full of high-minded rhetoric and good intentions coupled with prescience of the limits of these ideals. The setting is around 1794, just after revolutionaries have executed Louis VXI and established the First Republic in France. In his characteristic larger-than-life manner, Gerard Depardieu masterfully portrays the namesake of this movie as a sympathetic, if somewhat eccentric, hero of the French Revolutionary, next to the severe performance by Polish actor Wojciech Pszoniak who plays Robespierre. Robespierre heads the Committee of Public Safety which pursues opponents to the Revolution with increasing vigor. Danton appeals to Robespierre to check the bloody Reign of Terror which follows the Revolution, only to find himself at the guillotine, ostensibly for treason. The encounter between these two lead characters over a dinner to which Robespierre is invited by Danton is one of the most splendid parts of the movie, bringing out the tremendous force of character as well as political clumsiness of Danton. In the prophetic words soulfully delivered by Depardieu, Danton declares that the Revolution is devouring its own children. The almost identical scenes at the beginning and at the end of the movie in which Robespierre's son is reciting the articles of the post-Revolution constitution of the First Republic are haunting. Some commentators have said that this is Polish director Andrzej Wadja's metaphor for the events of his native Poland where the Solidarity crisis was in full force when he made this film. This is a first-rate dramatic performance.