La Révolution française (film)
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|La Révolution française|
|Directed by||Robert Enrico, Richard T. Heffron|
|Screenplay by||David Ambrose, Daniel Boulanger|
|Music by||Georges Delerue|
|Running time||360 min|
|Country||France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and Canada|
La Révolution française is a two-part film, co-produced by France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Canada. The first part, titled La Révolution française: les Années lumière (The Years of Light) was directed by Robert Enrico. The second part, La Révolution française: les Années terribles (The Years of Terror), was directed by Richard T. Heffron. The full movie runs at 360 minutes, but the edited-for-television version is slightly longer.
The film was produced in 1989 for the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution. It purports to tell a faithful and neutral story of the Revolution, from the calling of the Estates-General to the death of Maximilien de Robespierre. The film was high-budgeted and boasted an international cast. It was shot in French and English.
- Klaus Maria Brandauer as Georges Danton
- Andrzej Seweryn as Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre
- Jean-François Balmer as King Louis XVI
- Jane Seymour as Queen Marie-Antoinette
- Peter Ustinov as Honoré de Mirabeau
- François Cluzet as Camille Desmoulins
- Marianne Basler as Gabrielle Danton
- Marie Bunel as Lucile Desmoulins
- Vittorio Mezzogiorno as Jean-Paul Marat
- Claudia Cardinale as Madame de Polignac
- Sam Neill as Lafayette
- Christopher Thompson as Louis de Saint-Just
- Raymond Gérôme as Jacques Necker
- Christopher Lee as Charles Henri Sanson
- Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu as Charlotte Corday
- Jean-François Stévenin as Louis Legendre
- Marc de Jonge as Santerre
- Michel Duchaussoy as Jean Sylvain Bailly
- Henri Serre as M. de Launay
- Serge Dupire as Billaud-Varenne
- Jean Bouise as Maurice Duplay
- Dominique Pinon as Jean-Baptiste Drouet
- Gabrielle Lazure as Princess Marie Thérèse Louise of Savoie-Carignan, Princess of Lamballe
- Jean-Pierre Laurent as François Hanriot
- Yves-Marie Maurin as François Alexandre Frédéric de La Rochefoucauld, Duke of La Rochefoucauld
- Hanns Zischler as Goethe
- Michel Galabru as Abbot Jean-Sifrein Maury
- Massimo Girotti as The Pope's envoy
- François-Éric Gendron as Bertrand Barère
- Georges Corraface as Jacques-René Hébert
- Edgar Givry as Jean-Baptiste Cléry
- Michel Melki as Jacques Alexis Thuriot de la Rozière
The film was generally considered rather historically accurate. Among the few departures from the historical facts, the executioner Charles-Henri Sanson was shown executing both Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. The elder Sanson actually executed only Louis XVI; it was his son that actually executed Marie-Antoinette.
Some critics pointed, however, that the film suffered from its neutrality, which resulted in a lack of point of view and in some incoherences. The first part, which dealt with a rather complex historical subject, was also criticized for its disjointed pacing. The second part was considered more gripping and dramatic. Jean-François Balmer received great praise for his portrayal of a rather sympathetic Louis XVI, and Andrzej Seweryn was considered very convincing as Robespierre.
The film was not a box office success in France, as the celebrations for the Revolution's bicentennial were not attracting much audience.
The 2-CD soundtrack set composed by Georges Delerue is available on Music Box Records label (website).
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