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Danton (The Criterion Collection)
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Gérard Depardieu and Wojciech Pszoniak star in Andrzej Wajdas powerful, intimate depiction of the ideological clash between the earthy, man-of-the-people Georges Danton and icy Jacobin extemist Maximilien Robespierre, both key figures of the French Revolution. By drawing parallels to Polish solidarity, a movement that was being quashed by the government as the film went into production, Wajda drags history into the present. Meticulous and fiery, Danton has been hailed as one of the greatest films ever made about the Terror.
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Top Customer Reviews
The pace of the film is relentless. Its thematic force "illuminates" what Arthur Koestler called, DARKNESS at NOON(re: Stalin's Purge of Communist heroes and revolutionaries in the 30's). Danton reveals himself to have been an heroic fool who imagined he might stir mobs to democratic parliamentary Republicanism after he had sicked them on the taste of Aristocratic blood. The icy, more ruthess,Robepierre knows what must be done(total blood bath of not only the Aristocracy and its Royalist sympathizers; but Counter Revolutionaries opposed to the "lawless" massacre NECESSITY dictates.
Two outstanding actors in this fearsome drama are Patrice Chereau,as Camille Demoulins: idealist,revolutionary philospopher and propagandist(who believes his own "democratic" press even as Robespierre's thugs--under archetypal fascist,Fouquier Tinville (played by Roger Planchon)-- torch it, and warn the "citizen editor" of his impending arrest for treason. The most sinister character in this "Tale of One City" is essayed by Boguslaw Linda as fanatical, Angel of Death,St.Just. Reveling in political bloodlust, St.Just exalts in his role as merciless advocate of unrelentant,mass murder.Read more ›
For anyone who wants to see how idealism can pervert justice, this film is for you.
This is an account of the last week of life of Danton. The filming, the costumes and the small parphenalia of everyday life that can be seen in the movie are all rich in authentic detail.
The dialogue were it is historically known is virtual quotation. Where it is not known it is in character. Knowing a fair amount about this time period I could find nothing really to quibble with as far as the accuracy of anything portrayed...in fact I was constantly surprized at the attention to every little detail (and I mean down to the accuracy of the price of bread posted on a placard visible behind the crowd scene.)
This movie is a must have for anyone interested in the politics of the time period...I also recommend La Nuit de Varrene which does not seem to be available with Harvey Keitel as Thomas Paine...it is fictional and the premise is a public coach on the sam route and behind Louis XVI as he is fleeing Paris. The coach has a cross section of people. Retif de La Bretonne, a Lady in Waiting, a rich Industrialist, young Jocobin, etc...who debate the revolution in the carriage. It is excellent for understanding the revolution as seen from a variety of points of view...I dont undertstand why these excellent movies are not put on DVD and made more widely available.
Most recent customer reviews
There are few films about the French Revolution that do not speak to the 20th -- and 21st Century. This film, made during the Polish Government's attempt to suppress the Solidarity... Read morePublished on Dec 1 2011 by duff crerar
As another reviewer pointed out, this is probably the best film about the French Revolution and the fledgling Republic of France. Read morePublished on Sept. 1 2003 by M. S. Tucker
Depardieu gives a riveting performance of Danton in a fabulous movie. Camille Desmoulins is also well represented in an unforgetable and powerful drama.Published on Nov. 7 2002
Danton deeply affected me. I have seen it many times now, and each time is as powerful as the first. Read morePublished on Feb. 14 2000 by Deron J Dorna
This movie is really outstanding. From beginning to end, it expresses the tension of the French "Reign of Terror" very well. Read morePublished on Sept. 19 1999
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