TCM has a Joan of Arc movie marathon going! I think St. Joan of Arc is a great example for young people, girls and boys alike.
Tonight they had:
1948 – Joan of Arc with Ingrid Bergman – too bad it was so … pretty, and then there was that scandal. Jose Ferrer = loathsome.
It was idealized, but it was Catholic. Joan was taken seriously and was portrayed as godly and not… well.. nuts. It was a different era, to be sure. And people of the time cared so much for morality even in the actors and actresses that the film failed in its day at the box office.
1957 – Saint Joan based on Shaw’s play – I had forgotten how pernicious it really is, but Richard Widmark? Really? Did you know he was born in Minnesota?
There was a hilarious anachronistic moment after the coronation when they included in soundtrack a fugue from the end of a Gloria of a Haydn Mass. This was as bad as the 19th c. style anthem sung after the battle in Branagh’s Henry V. Preminger works in a Te Deum, again! Clever script with little jokes for the well-read. But this is a pernicious film. Constant reduction of the supernatural to the natural. George Bernard Shaw. Dumbed-down Shaw for a screen-play. But dumbed-down and made contemporary and slick by Graham Greene! But Widmark was fun… and with John Gielgud to boot! Panned. Not well received. I’m glad Preminger failed.
1928 – The Passion of Joan of Arc – just a few years after her canonization, the great silent film which barely survived destruction, new with new/old music by Richard Einhorn sung by Anonymous 4.
Gripping doesn’t do it justice.
1962 – Le Proces de Jeanne d’Arc – haven’t seen this one. Based on trial records.
Honorable mention goes to The Miracle of the Bells with Frank Sinatra as a priest and Fred MacMurray. Frank sings in Polish and Fred helps a fated woman get cast in a movie as St. Joan. 1948.