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The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc [Blu-ray] (1999)

Faye Dunaway , Pascal Greggory , Luc Besson  |  Unrated |  Blu-ray
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (353 customer reviews)

Price: $40.89 & FREE Shipping. Details
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The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc [Blu-ray] + Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut) [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Faye Dunaway, Pascal Greggory, Milla Jovovich, Tchky Karyo, John Malkovich
  • Directors: Luc Besson
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, Korean, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 2, 2008
  • Run Time: 158 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (353 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001GF8WOO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,435 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

1999 may be remembered as the year of Joan of Arc: NBC created a miniseries in her honor, Carl Dreyer's long-lost The Passion of Joan of Arc was discovered in a mental hospital, and Facets re-released Jacques Rivette's Joan the Maid. Luc Besson rounds out the corpus with his stylistic and vaguely heretical grand-scale feature, The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc. Besson (La Femme Nikita, The Fifth Element) challenges established notions about the Maid of Orleans as he creates a decidedly more human heroine than have previous biopics. The story line is the same--a young, illiterate peasant girl convinces the dauphin of France to give her an army, and she leads them to victory in Orleans, only to be burned at the stake for heresy--but Milla Jovovich, in the title role, is a woman possessed. Her influences are less than heavenly; as a child she witnesses the murder of her sister by the English, a death caused by the sister's giving her hiding place to young Joan, which causes an intense desire for revenge. Yes, God still speaks to Joan, but even this is undermined, as Dustin Hoffman, playing The Conscience, questions her motives. Cinematically, The Messenger is stunning, with fantastical sequences of Joan in communication with higher powers. Yet the graphic violence (scenes include random decapitation and a dog gnawing on a body); the uneven accents, which make it difficult to tell who is fighting on which side; and the rewriting of lore may make this version of Joan of Arc appeal only to Besson fans. Jovovich is convincing, and while at times the film may drag (at times you wish they'd hurry up and burn her), it is a remarkable and insightful retelling of a well-known piece of history. --Jenny Brown

Product Description

The year is 1429 France is in political and religious turmoil as members of the royal family battle for rule. But one peasant girl arrives beating a message that wins the hearts of her countrymen and the throne for her king. Features: talent files animated menus isolated music score and much more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 64 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Painfully Inaccurate April 18, 2011
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
This movie is so painfully inaccurate, one could assume it was written by someone who not only has no notion of who Joan of Arc was historically, but also has no reverence for her as a saint. Joan of Arc had two brothers, not a sister. Domremy was not attacked by the Burgundians or the English, as it was already English territory. Joan heard the voices of Saint Catherine, Saint Margaret, and Saint Michael. Saint Catherine, and Saint Margaret were the dominant voices. She also spoke of the voices comforting her, not terrorizing her for following their direction. I despise this representation of Joan as a broken, pathetic, and incredibly insane antihero. Anyone who has given the time and thought to reading her trial transcripts would know that she was so much more than this film could possibly pretend to portray.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't Represent Jean d'Arc April 1, 2003
By Justin
I have read like three books on Joan of Arc and I have seen the mini-series on NBC, starring LeeLee Sobieski (I love you!). Everything I have seen or read about Joan of Arc, Jean d'Arc, was better than The Messenger. Joan was a kind, wonderful person but this movie made her look like a maniac that should be put away. Though I have to say Milla Jovovich played a wonderful crazy person. Joan's visions weren't even correct. In the movie she saw some man that looked like Jesus, while in life she saw Saints, such as St. Catherine. The war scenes were gruesome, but I liked them; they were realistic. Another thing wrong was how Joan found her sword. She didn't find it in a meadow, as if someone dropped it there and she found it. Her voices told her that the sword was in St.Catherine's temple around the alter, so she sent some of her men to the temple and they found it buried by the alter just as she said. No one else knew it was there before. I was so upset after watching this movie, because it didn't show the true Joan of Arc. I would recomend reading Joan of Arc by Mark Twain to find the real Joan of Arc.
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One dimensional "movie" January 25, 2003
There is a movement of late for the French to ATTEMPT to do (many) things a la Amerique, especially in movies by trying to capture the grande epic style of film that America does so well.
Although Besson's film, "Le femme Nikita," is one of my top five favorites, he failed here; and I fail to call myself his fan.
Here are the problems:
La pucelle was NEVER raped.
Jehanne was compassionate towards English soldiers, peasants, etc
She was not insane, schizoid, or mentally ill in any way.
She was very eloquent and could debate with the most learned men.
The dialogue represents the 20th C.
Weapons are wrong.
Technical work is second-rate.
Even the hair colour was wrong (she had black hair).
Besson uses La Pucelle as a vehicle for self-aggrandizement, and it was a poor attempt at that.
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52 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant filmmaking with a fatal flaw April 17, 2000
This is a rather irreverent and disturbing look at the life of Saint Joan of Arc. The portrayal of her early life was very good, giving her a sincerity and piety that made the child Joan an attractive character. However, once Milla Jovovich took over as the teen Joan, she became a raving lunatic. Clearly, this was no accident. She and director Luc Besson are husband and wife, and it is obvious that this is their combined interpretation of Joan.
The problem with this portrayal was that Joan was made to be appear so demented that she lost credibility as a believable character. Her belief in her voices was depicted more as mad fanaticism than unshakeable faith. Personally, I have no problem with this interpretation, since I am more apt to believe her voices were the result of an unbalanced psyche than the voice of God. The problem I have is believing that anyone, even in the 15th century, would give an army to someone who is so obviously over the edge. Moreover, it is a stretch to believe that even the most desperate of simple minded men would follow such a character into battle.
If the portrayal were just a little more balanced, with moments of piety, sincerity and lucidity, the viewer and the other characters around her might be justified in saying, `Is she divinely inspired or simply mad?' Only when that question resonates has Joan been portrayed effectively. In this interpretation there was never any question. She was clearly a madwoman. It was almost a relief when they finally did away with her.
That being said, I must say that from a technical standpoint this was a brilliantly directed film. Luc Besson has produced a compelling visual work of art. The opening scenes of young Joan running through the fields were exquisite.
Read more ›
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52 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! March 23, 2000
I have seen the movie twice within a week, and will see it acouple of more times. I was shivering through the whole movie, it wasso real for me. ... how 'clean' Joan was. First, at the beginning of the film it turns out that she had been to the priest for the third time that day, to confess. Later on the knights do not understand her when she says 'I want to confess. I have not confessed ... today yet' - if your really pay attention, for the environment this is very strange. And, at the end of the movie, she confesses her 'crimes' again. What I want to point out that she had a very strong conscience and she intended to keep it clean. This makes her a candidate to be Saint - as she was given this title 500 years later.
This movie IS about reality, the betraying of Joan included. This is what I liked the most (the film being so real).
Further on, every split second of the movie is communicating something. If you watch closely, the faces, the looks of the actors, the music, are constantly telling you a part of the story, a message. Perfect timing features the cutting of this film. The conflicts are precisely designed. The actors are perfectly matching their roles. I admit, that the ending is a bit long, but basically it stresses the suppressive behaviour of the inqusition of that time.
Milla plays just perfectly. In this version of the Joan of Arc movies she is what she is and that is it. Luc Besson had an idea in mind and she realises it.
If you like Luc Besson, Milla Jovovich, Eric Serra, history, middle age, or if you are a rebel, this is a must for you.
The more you appreciate art the more you are going to like this movie.
Finally: this movie is fine art in itself, a classic piece. But you have to like the style Luc Besson paints...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars My wife said it best...
"There were a lot of famous people in that movie. And it sucked."

Good acting and decent cinematography cant' save a terrible script.
Published 20 days ago by Stephen Champion
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE THE MOVIE SO MUCH
Published 23 days ago by larry
2.0 out of 5 stars Weird and depressing
This film could have been great. The cinematography, acting, production was all amazing. Did an incredible job of recreating the historical scenes. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Alison Anderson
The Sony release is now out of print so merchants are trying to take advantage of the Amazon search engines hoping that you do not see the new 2014 release for a fraction of the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by forgetthegouge
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie
I see a lot of negative reviews due to inaccuracy. Sometimes that's not that important. We watch movies for entertainment.
Published 1 month ago by Dale Phillips
4.0 out of 5 stars WELL DONE.
Well, yes, the movie is a rather inaccurate. Their were scenes were I just was like "Come on that's bs. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gerri Melchionne
5.0 out of 5 stars Good soul
I was intrigued by this woman. I feel there is one other woman in this life time that will change peoples lives.
Published 1 month ago by Debbie Dusenberry
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent period piece
Many reviewers say this movie doesn't follow the known story and facts of Joan of Arc, but it's enjoyable and gives a good overall picture of her story.
Published 2 months ago by Jersey Charlie
5.0 out of 5 stars An Inspiring Portrayal Of Hope versus Vengeance and Delusion
It takes us to a period of time when man first began an initial look toward the insight of philosophy, religion and revolution. Read more
Published 2 months ago by GIOVANNI GERICHTS
4.0 out of 5 stars I LIKED THIS MOVIE
I've read that this movie was not that accurate (when is Hollywood accurate 100%) but I found the acting superb. Four Stars! Oh yeah....
Published 2 months ago by Christopher Stempel
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