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The Life of Emile Zola (1937)

The Life of Emile Zola (1937)

The Life of Emile Zola (1937) 0
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Base SKU: 01256969252
EAN: 0012569692527

Paul Muni stars as Emile Zola, giving possibly his best performance in this excellent biography of the great writer, which won three Oscars, including Best Picture. The film's most unusual aspect is its evasiveness regarding the anti-Semitism that led to the terrible injustice of the Dreyfus affair. As Neil Gabler and others have pointed out, this can probably be attributed to the reluctance of the Jewish studio moguls to incur the ire of a society in which they still didn't feel entirely accepted. The film tracks Zola's early years, including his friendship with Paul Cezanne (Vladimir Sokoloff), and his uphill battle to expose in print the social ills that plagued France's lower classes. When success arrives with the publication of NANA, he garners an audience that can appreciate his exposés of the corruption of the nation's government, military, and business community. But it's in the Herculean effort to clear Captain Dreyfus (Joseph Schildkraut), a victim of anti-Semitism who had been framed on charges of military espionage and sent to Devil's Island, that Zola reveals in full force the tremendous courage that undergirded his achievment. High production values, an excellent cast, and an intelligent script all add to the film's extraordinary quality.

Latest Product Reviews See All Reviews (Total 1 Reviews)

Engrossing fare
Posted by Play.com Reviewer, 26/05/2013 22:52:42
Not even ten years into the sound era and already Hollywood is splashing out the cash on the big prestige talky biopics. This one starts out none too promisingly with the old chestnut of the struggling author suddenly finding inspiration and success. And then it latches onto its key selling point: the spirited defence by Zola of wrongly imprisoned army officer Dreyfus on charges of treason, becoming a much more engrossing film in the process. Mercifully director Dieterle is able to rein in any excesses Paul Muni might be prone to so that the actor actually makes for an engaging Emile Zola but it is really Schildkraut who walks off with the picture with his dignified take on a man unjustly accused. Note: This Review was made by Play.com customer: RJNeb2 on Rakuten’s Play.com on the date shown.

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Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine

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