A Joan for All Seasons

In this guide to six well-known 20th century features about Joan of Arc, Maeve Maddox first presents the historical background from which film-makers drew their ideas, and then discusses the individual films in terms of the times and personalities of the men who created them.

Six films about Joan of Arc

The six 20th century films discussed in A JOAN FOR ALL SEASONS

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Part One, “Historical Joan,” provides the facts about the peasant girl from her first appearance in history in

A Joan for All Seasons: Joan of Arc in History and the Movies

This timely film guide about the gendered treatment of a female hero is available in print and Kindle editions.

 1428 to her death at the stake in 1431. It also provides a brief account of the royal in-fighting that caused and prolonged the Hundred Years’ War.

Part Two, “Cinematic Joan,” analyzes each of the six films in terms of historical accuracy and intended message. These six productions span the 20th century, beginning with Cecil B. DeMille’s Joan the Woman, released in 1917, to Luc Besson’sJeanne d’Arc, released in its English version in 1999 as The Messenger.

Although some of these films are mentioned in guides to movies about war, or movies set in the Middle Ages, A Joan for All Seasons is the only guide that focuses on six Joan of Arc films in one volume.

More about the six films discussed in this guide:

Joan the Woman (1917)
Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Joan: Geraldine Farrar

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
Director: Theodore Dreyer
Joan: Renée Falconetti

Joan of Arc (1948)
Director: Victor Fleming
Joan: Ingrid Bergman

Saint Joan (1957)
Director: Otto Preminger
Joan: Jean Seberg

Joan of Arc (1999)
Director: Christian Duguay
Joan: Leelee Sobieski

The Messenger (1999)
Director: Luc Besson
Joan: Milla Jovovich