The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
The Passion of Joan of Arc is a 1928 silent French film based on the actual record of the trial of Joan of Arc. The film was directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer and stars Renée Jeanne Falconetti as Joan. It is widely regarded as a landmark of cinema, especially for its production, Dreyer's direction and Falconetti's performance, which has been described as being among the finest in cinema history. The film summarizes the time that Joan of Arc was a captive of England. It depicts her trial and execution. Danish film director Dreyer was invited to make a film in France by the Société Générale des Films and chose to make a film about Joan of Arc due to her renewed popularity in France. Dreyer spent over a year researching Joan of Arc and the transcripts of her trial before writing the script. Dreyer cast stage actress Falconetti as Joan in her only major film role. Falconetti's performance and devotion to the role during filming have become legendary among film scholars. The film was shot on one huge concrete set modeled on medieval architecture in order to realistically portray the Rouen prison. The film is known for its cinematography and use of close-ups.