The French Revolution is a French historical film by Robert Enrico and Richard T. Heffron, released in 1989 . The film also exists in a longer version, mounted for television .
Realized with a budget of 300 million francs to accompany the celebrations of the bicentenary of the French Revolution , the film was a commercial failure 1 , 2 . It is divided into two parts:
- “The light years” (directed by Robert Enrico )
- “The terrible years” (directed by Richard T. Heffron )
“The light years” includes the events of 1789 until the assault of the Tuileries , when King Louis XVI was locked up with his family at the Temple on August 10, 1792 ;
“The terrible years” includes the events of August 10, 1792 at the end of the Terror , with the execution of Robespierre .
The historical advisor of the series is Jean Tulard , a historian specializing in the revolutionary period.
The events reported in both parts of the French Revolution are numerous. The producers wanted to take up the unprecedented challenge of covering the entire revolutionary period, and therefore all its major events (which makes it a pedagogical film, despite its clearly Dantonist bias ). The work, however, passes very quickly on the Vendée warwhich is mentioned only four times, in particular by Robespierre and Desmoulins , who denounces the massacre of “an entire people”. The film ends with the execution of Robespierre and Saint-Just in 1794and fails to evoke the sequence of events. However, the French Revolution extended until 1799 , year of the coup d’etat of Napoleon Bonaparte .
The Light Years
|Hymn to Freedom , lyrics and music by Georges Delerue
In the film, it is sung by Jessye Norman .
The first part of the film traces the following events:
- The meeting of the Estates General .
- The oath of the Jeu de Paume and the establishment of the Constituent Assembly .
- The taking of the Bastille .
- The establishment of the Paris Commune .
- The night of August 4th .
- The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen of 1789 .
- The days of October 5 and 6, 1789 .
- The feast of the Federation .
- The flight of Louis XVI and his arrest .
- The shooting of the Champ-de-Mars .
- The establishment of the National Legislative Assembly .
- The debate on the war between Brissot and Robespierre then the declaration of war to the Emperor of Austria(20 April 1792).
- The day of June 20, 1792 .
- The establishment of the Insurrectional Commune of Paris .
- The day of August 10, 1792 .
The terrible Years
The second part of the film traces the following events:
- The confinement of Louis XVI and his family to the Temple .
- The massacres of September and the introduction of the Terror .
- The battle of Valmy .
- The introduction of I re Republic and the National Convention .
- The trial of Louis XVI and his execution .
- The establishment of the Revolutionary Court and the Committee of Public Safety .
- The clashes between the Montagnards and the Girondins that lead to the days of May 31 and June 2, 1793 .
- The assassination of Marat .
- The trial of Marie Antoinette and her execution .
- The Great Terror .
- The trial of the Hebertists .
- The trial of the Dantonists .
- The feast of the Supreme Being
- The fall of Robespierre .
- The execution of Robespierre .
- Title: The French Revolution
- Director: Robert Enrico and Richard T. Heffron , assisted by Frédéric Auburtin
- Scenario: David Ambrose, Daniel Boulanger, Robert Enrico, Richard T. Heffron and Fred A. Wyler
- Photography: François Catonné and Bernard Zitzermann
- Editing: Anne Baronnet
- Music: Georges Delerue
- Sets: Jean-Claude Gallouin
- Sound: Bernard Le Roux, Jean-Charles Ruault and Claude Villard
- Special effects: Georges Démétrau and Émilio Ruiz del Rio
- Production: Alexandre Mnouchkine
- Production company: Les Films Ariane
- Budget: 300 million French francs (45 million euros)
- Shooting duration: 6 months (2 teams) beginning of shooting in February 1988
- Number of technicians: 380
- Number of actors: 200
- Number of extras: 36,000
- Number of costumes: 15,000 and 3,000 wigs
- Duration: 360 minutes
- Country: France , Italy , Germany , Canada , United Kingdom
- French language. English
- Format: Color
- Filming Location: Joinville Studios , Tarascon (taken from the Bastille), Bordeaux (Cordeliers district in Paris), Nevers (Battle of Valmy), Hôtel de la Marine (The Tuileries), Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte (Versailles), Palace of Versailles. City of Compiègne (first scene of the film and some scenes of revolt)
- Klaus Maria Brandauer (VF: Bernard Murat ) : Danton †
- François Cluzet : Camille Desmoulins †
- Jean-François Balmer : Louis XVI †
- Jane Seymour (VF: Béatrice Delfe 3 ) : Marie Antoinette †
- Andrzej Seweryn : Robespierre †
- Marianne Basler : Gabrielle Danton †
- Peter Ustinov (VF: Roger Carel ) : Mirabeau †
- Sam Neill (VF: Pierre Arditi ) : La Fayette
- Claudia Cardinale : the Duchess of Polignac
- Vittorio Mezzogiorno (VF: Michel Vigné ) : Marat †
- Jean-François Stévenin : Louis Legendre
- Marc de Jonge : Santerre
- Michel Duchaussoy : Jean Sylvain Bailly †
- Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu : Charlotte Corday †
- Christopher Lee : Charles-Henri Sanson
- Henri Serre : Mr. de Launay †
- Serge Dupire : Billaud-Varenne
- Jean Bouise : Maurice Duplay
- Marie Bunel : Lucile Desmoulins †
- Gabrielle Lazure : Marie-Louise of Savoy, Princess of Lamballe †
- Dominique Pinon : Jean-Baptiste Drouet
- Christopher Thompson : Saint-Just †
- Raymond Gérôme : Jacques Necker
- Jean-Pierre Laurent : General François Hanriot †
- Yves-Marie Maurin : the Duke of La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt
- Hanns Zischler : Goethe
- Michel Galabru : Father Jean-Sifrein Maury
- Massimo Girotti : the Pope’s envoy
- François-Éric Gendron : Bertrand Barère
- Georges Corraface : Jacques René Hébert †
- Jean-Pierre Stewart : Brissot †
- Geoffrey Bateman : Cléry
- Michel Melki : Jacques Thuriot Alexis de la Rozière
- Jean Bouchaud : Father Sieyès
- Jean-Yves Berteloot : Axel of Fersen
- Claude Aufaure : a priest
- Anne Létourneau : Mrs. Elisabeth †
- Louise Latraverse : Madame de Tourzel
- Katherine Flynn : Madame Royale
- Sean Flynn : The Dolphin
- Michel Motu : the preceptor of the first Dauphin
- Alain Frérot : Simon
- François Lalande : Mr. Duplessis-Laridon
- Geneviève Mnich : M me Duplessis
- André Penvern : Charles, Count of Artois
- Sebastian Roché : the Marquis de Dreux-Breze
- Marion Grimault : Louison Chabry
- Georges Trillat : Fournier
- Philippe Chemin : Flue’s lieutenant
- Jacques Penot : Jean-Joseph Mounier
- Steve Kalfa : Collot of Herbois
- Jacques Ciron : Joseph Ignace Guillotin
- Louise Boisvert : Simone Evrard
- Daniel Briquet : Jérôme Pétion
- Daniel Langlet : Jean-Baptiste Sauce
- Hans Meyer : The Duke of Brunswick
- Steve Gadler : Vergniaud †
- Fabienne Tricottet : Eleonore Duplay
- Jerry Di Giacomo : Pierre-Louis Roederer
- Michel Voletti : Chambon
- Daniel Lombart : Lindet
- Richard De Burnchurch : Father Edgeworth
- Jean-Philippe Chatrier : Herault de Sechelles †
- Bruce Myers (VF: Marc de Georgi ) : Couthon †
- Ronald Guttman : Herman †
- Yves Beneyton : Fouquier-Tinville †
- Véronique Leblanc : Rosalie Lamorliere
- Muriel Brenner : Louise Danton
- Nathalie Fillion : Françoise Hébert †
- Michel Subor : Vadier
- Renaud Alcade : the Marseillais
- Graeme Allwright : The Brochure Merchant
- Davide Ambrose : the Marquis de Blacons
- Jean-Gilles Barbier : a man
- Brigitte Bellac : a woman
- Olivier Belmont : a lackey
- Jean-Marie Bernicat : Mr. Desmoulins
- Tomasz Bialkowski : an Austrian general
- Jean Boissery : the Duke of Choiseul
- Jean-Paul Bonnaire : a bourgeois
- Jean-Claude Bourlat : Louis le Grand’s teacher
- Jean-Pol Brissart : a farmer
- Franck Capillery : a rider
- Steve Carretero : Young Robespierre
- Bruno Cécillon : the delegate of the Hôtel de ville
- Sylvain Clément : a farmer
- Jean-Pierre Dargaud : an invalid
- Jean-Pierre Delamour : Colonel of the Swiss Guard
- Diane Delor : Mirabeau’s friend
- Eric Denize : a bodyguard
- William Doherty : a doctor
- Pierre Dourlens : a man
- Jean-Claude Dumas : an invalid
- Eric Eider : a guard
- Yannick Evely : the crier of the Palais-Royal
- André Farwagi : an elected representative of Guise
- Luc Faugere : Bellon
- Michel Feder : the croupier
- Mireille Franchino : a woman
- Georges Fricker : the viscount of Noailles
- Luc Gentil : a walker
- Michel Godon : a gentleman
- Raphaëline Goupilleau : Mrs. Drouet
- Nicole Gueden : Ms. Desmoulins
- Denis Hecker : a priest
- Jacques Hermitte : a farmer
- Matthew Jocelyn : the cheater
- Renaud Kerval : the clerk
- Philippe Landoulsi : an officer of the Flanders Regiment
- Jean-Jacques Bihan : the apprentice carpenter
- Bernard Lepinaux : Hulin
- François Levantal : Romeuf
- Mario Luraschi : a hussar
- Richard Magaldi : a man
- Benji Marcus : the first Dauphin Louis Joseph of France
- Renaud Marx : the printshop
- Jean-Luc Masquelier : a rioter
- Jean-Gabriel Nordmann : the Duke of Aguesseau
- Alain Payen : an officer
- Jacques Plee : the bishop of Nancy
- Dominique Ratonnat : a lieutenant
- Sady Rebbot : the president of the city council
- Frédéric Rostand : the viscount of Beauharnais
- Liliane Rovère : a woman
- Maximilien Seide : a child
- Bernard Spiegel : the Breton speaker
- Philip-James Valentini : Young Desmoulins
- Yvan Varco : the viscount of Montmorin
- Nadia Vasil ; a poor woman
- Jacques Vincey : the first commissioner
- Michel Winogradoff : a man
- Frédéric Witta : a municipal officer
- François Aguettant : a municipal officer
- Jay Benedict : a cleric
- Dany Bernard : a priest
- Marc-André Brunet : a national guard
- Bernard Celeyron : François-Christophe Kellermann
- François Clavier : Archbishop of Paris
- Robert Eliot : a Prussian officer
- Jean-Claude Fernandez : a man
- Thierry Der’ven : a man
- Sylvie Flepp : a woman
- Alexandre-André Glickman : a doctor
- Peter Hudson : Boissy-D’Anglas
- Isabelle Lafon : Catherine Evrard
- Rudy Laurent : a man
- Jean-Marie Lemaire : Carnot
- Mike Marshall : a lieutenant
- David Martin : Jean-Baptiste Coffinhal
- Frédéric Merlo : a newspaper seller
- Michel Ouimet : a staff guard
- Bruno Raffaelli : the president of the jury
- Jean Ralph : a man
- Louison Roblin : a woman
- Rémy Roubakha : a man
- Nicolas Serreau : a national guard
- Jimmy Shuman : a secretary
- Patrick Tessari : Maillard
- Geoffroy Thiebaut : Barras
- Gérard Touratier : the spy of Saint-Just
- Benoît Vallès : a lieutenant
- Guy Verame : a municipal officer
Choice of actors
It is Jane Seymour’s own children who interpret Queen Marie Antoinette’s children . Edward Baer , then unknown, interprets the stealthy role of a hanged man.
The scenes reconstructing the taking of the Bastille were shot in front of King René’s castle in Tarascon .
The battle of Valmy was shot in Huez, near Bona Nièvre, on 20 hectares, approximately, the land of Pierre Laporte, for a week with 400 volunteer soldiers conscripts from the 7 th Nevers artillery regiment , the 602 th traffic regiment of Dijon, the 511 regiment of the train of Auxonne, 30 civilians, fifteen horses with so many riders and the technical staff of nearly 200 people. The mill has been restored on the hill. The soldiers who volunteered to appear in the film had to grow their hair and beard to get closer to the historical reality.
The scenes taking place in the prison of the Temple were shot at the castle of Vincennes and the States General in Bordeaux .
The scene taking place in Nancy was shot in the enclosure of the castle of Fontainebleau in November 1988 with conscripts of the contingent Students Reserve Officers of the Villacoublay air base and musicians of the Republican Guard. The costumes were tailor-made with fitting in the old studios of “l’île aux enfants” in Joinville le Pont. This scene lasts a little over 2 minutes on the screen for 18 hours of filming, especially because of a capricious weather, characterized by thunderstorms and wet periods. Mario Luracchi was present on the scene to manage his horses which had to remain motionless. Periods of “strenuousness” were necessary.
Around the film
- The sequence devoted to 9 Thermidor presents a shortened version of the events: in the film, the Robespierristes deputies are not arrested but flee to the Paris City Hall . In fact, Robespierre and others were arrested, but released later as no prison in Paris wanted to take responsibility for retaining them.
- The film ends with an apocryphal quote from Danton 4 :
“We broke the tyranny of privileges by abolishing those powers to which no man was entitled. We have put an end to the monopoly of birth and fortune in all these great offices of the State, in our churches, in our armies, in all parts of that great magnificent body of France.
We have declared that the humblest man in this country is equal to the greatest. This freedom we have acquired for ourselves has been assigned to slaves and we entrust the world with the mission of building the future on the hope we have created.
It is more than a victory in a battle, more than the swords and cannons and all the cavalry of Europe and this inspiration, this breath for all men, everywhere everywhere, this appetite, this thirst for freedom no one will ever be able to smother it. “
- This is, with Le Grand Bleu , one of the last films in which appears Jean Bouise , died four months before the release of the film.
- Robert Enrico’s own son , Jerome Enrico , made a 55-minute documentary on the scenes of the shooting: The French Revolution, journal of the film (1989).
The film was released on DVD June 11, 2009. A reissue was made in late 2010, the films are separated in two different boxes, dedicated to their titles or a brand new box full.
- List of the longest films by duration
Notes and references
- ↑ The French Revolution Years Light Years Terribles [ archive ] , herodote.net
- ↑ ” Journal of the Year Edition 1990 ” [ archive ] , Larousse (accessed July 11, 2013 )
- ↑ (en) RSdoublage.com ( dubbing tab ) [ archive ]
- ↑ This text has not been written or spoken by Danton . He appears nowhere, even partially, neither in his recorded or published speeches or writings, nor in the parceled and very limited accounts of his trial. It is therefore probably the work of the writers of the film.