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J'Accuse (1938)

Review

Author
Date
08-05-2000
Comments
J'Accuse poster
Runtime
104 minutes
Countries
Cast and Crew
Director
Production Company

This masterpiece of cinema sets its theme on the subject of war, the ultimate of human horrors. Victor Francen (The Beast with Five Fingers) does a magnificent portrayal of Jean Diaz, a French soldier of World War I, who volunteers to take the place of a comrade (who is the father of four children) in a suicide mission of twelve men. It is the day of Armistice, and ten return dead, one missing, and one wounded. While giving Last Rites to the fallen soldiers, a groan is heard from under a covering. It is of Jean Diaz who is now strangely alive and is placed on a hospital cat beside the other injured survivor who reaches to him taking his hand and dies as if to give his life for Jean. Jean's life is dramatically changed and he turns his glass making company over to his partner, becomes a recluse and works on an invention which, to fulfill a promise to his dead comrades, will end all War.

Jean succumbs to madness when his invention, steel glass, is stolen and instead is used to serve and profit for the industrial war machine now prospering with the advent of World War II. Jean Diaz in anger summons the ghosts of the dead of WW I in a spectacular finale rivaling a Cecil B.DeMille. The dead from all nations arise and march against the next war. Among the multitudes you will see actual War veterans whose faces are scarred and mutilated from injuries from the high tech weapons of War. It is a brutal and poignant visual statement which applauds the courage of the director, writers, and those Veterans who took part in this film. Powerful photo images, fine acting and a high and noble purpose places this movie in the most discerning collections and I believe that will be all of our readers. In French with English subtitles.

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