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Danton - Criterion Collection
Danton - Criterion Collection
Actors: Gérard Depardieu, Roland Blanche, Emmanuelle Debever, Ronald Guttman, Tadeusz Huk
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     2009     2hr 16min

Gérard Depardieu and Wojciech Pszoniak star in Andrzej Wajda s powerful, intimate depiction of the ideological clash between the earthy, man-of-the-people Georges Danton and icy Jacobin extemist Maximilien Robespierre, bot...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Gérard Depardieu, Roland Blanche, Emmanuelle Debever, Ronald Guttman, Tadeusz Huk
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Criterion Collection
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/31/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/1983
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1983
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 2hr 16min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 16
Edition: Criterion Collection
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: French
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Both Art and Essay
Deron J Dorna | Boston, MA | 02/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Danton deeply affected me. I have seen it many times now, and each time is as powerful as the first. It is one of those rarest of creatures: a film that succeeds simultaneously as a work of art and a political essay. There is nothing ponderous or pedantic about it, as with many political films (the recently released Cradle Will Rock comes to mind), nor is it shallow as with most artistic works that try to make political statements. It poses very immediate questions about freedom and democracy, while painting very vivid portraits of Danton and Robespierre, both of whom are brilliantly acted and perfectly cast. Not that Danton is an historical documentary. Far from it, it is not really trying to portray history at all. It is not so much about the Revolution as it is about revolution, or about Danton and Robespierre as it is about how leaders, no matter how brilliant or well-meaning, are eminently human, flawed, and powerless against the hard limitations of human society. Robespierre is portrayed as the elevated idealist, trapped in a hopeless dilemma, and ultimately becoming the very thing he most despised. Danton is the down-to-earth realist, the man of the people, yet he grossly overestimates his influence and the power of the people and ends up paying for it with his life. One reviewer complained that Danton is ahistorical, that it reflects more of the director's own experience in Poland than historical research. This is quite so, and quite intentionally so. There is no doubt that we are meant to draw immediate parallels between France and modern day Easter Europe (the Communists have studied the French Revolution avidly for years), which is precisely why it was banned there. It is art, not a documentary - the director is speaking to the soul as well as the intellect."
When will this be on DVD
M. La Vean | Michigan | 12/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is the best drama of the French Revolution currently available. (it is on par with the 5 hour epic on the French Revolution which is still in copyright dispute in France...the one with Jane Seymour as Marie Antoinette and Peter Ustinov as Mirabeau...if you ever see this grab it because the dont even show it on French TV anymore)This is an account of the last week of life of Danton. The filming, the costumes and the small parphenalia of everyday life that can be seen in the movie are all rich in authentic detail.The dialogue were it is historically known is virtual quotation. Where it is not known it is in character. Knowing a fair amount about this time period I could find nothing really to quibble with as far as the accuracy of anything fact I was constantly surprized at the attention to every little detail (and I mean down to the accuracy of the price of bread posted on a placard visible behind the crowd scene.)This movie is a must have for anyone interested in the politics of the time period...I also recommend La Nuit de Varrene which does not seem to be available with Harvey Keitel as Thomas is fictional and the premise is a public coach on the sam route and behind Louis XVI as he is fleeing Paris. The coach has a cross section of people. Retif de La Bretonne, a Lady in Waiting, a rich Industrialist, young Jocobin, etc...who debate the revolution in the carriage. It is excellent for understanding the revolution as seen from a variety of points of view...I dont undertstand why these excellent movies are not put on DVD and made more widely available."
The history's off but oh well it's brilliant just the same | Granite Bay, California | 09/09/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Wajda's Danton is based on Stanislawa Przybyszewska's The Danton Case though the poor woman would be rolling over in her very cold and miserable grave to see what Wajda has done to her brilliant Robespierrist drama. Dantonist though it is, and sometimes glaringly anachronistic in its parallels between Walesa's Poland and Danton's France, Wajda's film is edgy, vibrant and memorable. It captures the surreal and nightmarish quality of Paris in the spring of 1794. The tragedy of radical social change is poignantly portrayed. The acting, especially that of Depardieu--who doesn't precisely suit the role, and Pszoniak, who does marvellously,--- is altogether very good. Try saying to yourself, Robespierre is *not* Stalin or Jaruzelski."
Great Movie! | 09/19/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This movie is really outstanding. From beginning to end, it expresses the tension of the French "Reign of Terror" very well. The music, visual style and characterizations blend together excellently to create a mood and to tell the story of the conflict between Danton and Robespierre, and their supporters."