|La Révolution française|
|Directed by||Robert Enrico, Richard T. Heffron|
|Screenplay by||David Ambrose, Daniel Boulanger|
|Music by||Georges Delerue|
|Country||France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and Canada|
|Language||French, English, German|
|Budget||300 million francs|
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 French Revolution: Years of Hope) was directed by Robert Enrico. The second part, La Révolution française: les Années terribles (The French Revolution: Years of Rage), 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 had a large budget (300 million francs) and boasted an international cast. It was shot in French, German 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 Neil 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 Rosière
- Jean-Yves Berteloot as Count Axel de Fersen
- Liliane Rovère as A Woman
The film was generally considered quite 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 who 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 incoherence. 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 did not attract much attention.
- Hugo Frey (30 July 2014). Nationalism and the Cinema in France: Political Mythologies and Film Events, 1945-1995. Berghahn Books. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-78238-366-6.
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