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Danton (The Criterion Collection) (1983)

Gerard Depardieu , Roland Blanche , Andrzej Wajda  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gerard Depardieu, Roland Blanche, Emmanuelle Debever, Ronald Guttman, Tadeusz Huk
  • Directors: Andrzej Wajda
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: March 31, 2009
  • Run Time: 136 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001O549FW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,547 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Danton (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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, both key figures of the French Revolution. By drawing parallels to Polish solidarity, a movement that was being quashed by the government as the film went into production, Wajda drags history into the present. Meticulous and fiery, Danton has been hailed as one of the greatest films ever made about the Terror.

SPECIAL EDITION DOUBLE-DISC SET FEATURES:
New high-definition digital transfer
Video interviews with director Andrzej Wajda, screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, and Polish film critic Jerzy Plazewski
Wajda s Danton, a 42-minute behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of the film
Original theatrical trailer
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A new essay by film scholar Leonard Quart

Review

Absolutely superb...a great historical picture. --Roger Ebert

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
(8)
4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Idealism to Dictatorship March 2, 2009
Format:DVD
Arguably, this is one of Gerard Depardieu's best performances - and this time he is "Danton" - a big, earthy, popular voice of the French revolution. The film is about his conflicts with the intellectual and unemotional Robespierre, who is unrelenting in continuing the Reign of Terror against anyone believed to be opposing his dictatorship of the revolution. Eventually, someone as popular as Danton is driven under the wheels of the chaotic forces which he helped unleash.

What makes this film for me is Depardieu - I simply can't take my eyes away from the force he projects on the screen. And perhaps that tells us something about Danton himself. The movie was intended as an allegory of so many revolutionary movements that started for good causes but degenerated into messy power struggles and murder as ugly as the kings and czars the people wanted to replace.

Intellectually satisfying and dramatically compelling, this is - without doubt - one of the best films about the political currents behind the French revolution of the 1790's.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Political drama of the highest caliber June 26, 2009
Format:DVD
Georges Danton was the great orator who played an integral part in French Revolution and the last few months of his life are wonderfully portrayed in this film by Gerard Depardieu. While historians still argue his true character, Danton had the trust and support of the people - which posed a serious problem for the Republic, as they saw him as a conspirator and a threat to their newly formed government. Maximilien Robespierre, a dominant force in the Republic's "Reign of Terror", is also featured in this film and superbly played by Wojciech Pszoniak.

Director Andrzej Wajda takes the story of Danton and creates a historical film that is both powerful and objective. The production is on a large scale, yet this look back in history remains centered around the lives of Danton and Robespierre with great intelligence. Danton provides excellent insight not only to those two characters, but also to the Republic's judicial system. A political drama of the highest caliber.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Danton - a hero for all times June 15, 2009
A Kid's Review
Format:DVD
Danton, an inspiring leader who was willing to sacrifice his iife for his principles.
He was one of the leaders of the French Revolution and witnessed the new leadership
turn into what he despised in the old regime. A brilliant orator who had substance
behind his words, not just nice sounding empty rhetoric.

Danton should be quoted throughout the world as someone who spoke truth to power
even if he had to give up his life to do it. There are not many people like him on the planet today
and I sure wish there were!

An inspiring true story that stands the test of time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional political drama October 7, 2009
Format:DVD
The characters of Danton and Robespierre are almost archetypical in their approach to power, leadership, and governance. This film does a good job of capturing the radically different philosophies and characters of these two men and their struggle for power. I enjoyed reading Hilary Mantel's excellent A Place of Greater Safety several years ago, a book that goes into great depth on this phase of French history. I found that this film covers the final confrontations between Danton and Robespierre, an extremely dramatic time in the history of France.

Danton was a populist and hero of the revolution. He is brave, masculine, womanizing, a heavy drinker and a man who could appeal to the man-on-the-street. In some ways he was a Lyndon Johnson or Bill Clinton type of personality. His personality over-boils in public, capturing the attention and admiration of the masses. Yet, this heroic populist may be a threat to the democratic process, for the masses are often all to willing to surrender power and decision making to a popular figure that appears to show great charisma, humor, communication skills, and personal courage. Robespierre is everything that Danton is not. Robespierre is a purist, and ideologist, a player in the grand game of power, and most importantly the repository of a philosophical contradiction on the nature of governance. Robespierre in an effort to strengthen the new French republic was on the lookout for those skillful populists that may take the reigns of power from the people and create another totalitarian and authoritarian state. Thus Robespierre saw Danton as a threat to the advances made by the revolution and thus Robespierre eventually became intent on the destruction of Danton.
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