7.6/10
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Danton (1983)

In 1793, as the Terror begins in France, Georges Danton, a champion-of-the-people, returns to clash against Maximilien Robespierre and his extremist party.

Director:

Andrzej Wajda

Writers:

Jean-Claude Carrière (scenario), Stanislawa Przybyszewska (based on the play by: "L'Affaire Danton/Sprawa Dantona") | 4 more credits »
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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gérard Depardieu ... Danton
Wojciech Pszoniak ... Robespierre
Anne Alvaro Anne Alvaro ... Éléonore Duplay
Roland Blanche Roland Blanche ... Lacroix
Patrice Chéreau ... Camille Desmoulins (as Patrice Chereau)
Emmanuelle Debever Emmanuelle Debever ... Louison Danton
Krzysztof Globisz ... Amar
Ronald Guttman ... Herman
Gérard Hardy Gérard Hardy ... Tallien
Tadeusz Huk ... Couthon
Stéphane Jobert Stéphane Jobert ... Panis
Marian Kociniak ... Lindet
Marek Kondrat ... Barère de Vieuzac
Boguslaw Linda ... Saint Just
Alain Macé Alain Macé ... Héron (as Alain Mace)
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Storyline

Action opens in November of 1793, with Danton returning to Paris from his country retreat upon learning that the Committee for Public Safety, under Robespierre's incitement, has begun a series of massive executions, The Terror. Confident in the people's support, Danton clashes with his former ally, but calculating Robespierre soon rounds up Danton and his followers, tries them before a revolutionary tribunal and dipatches them to the guillotine. Written by Polish Cinema Database <http://info.fuw.edu.pl/Filmy/>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Poland

Language:

French

Release Date:

12 January 1983 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Дантон See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's release sparked major political controversy in France, with Socialists and Communists arguing that it was "counterrevolutionary" and misrepresented the French Revolution, as both sides tried to present themselves as the proper heirs of the Revolutionary tradition. See more »

Goofs

Many significant figures and events were presented inaccurately or not at all. Danton was presented as a drunk. Louis de Saint-Just, known at the time as the "Angel of Death" and the public face of the Reign of Terror, acted like a modern-day hippie. Much of the military history, such as the Civil War in the Vendée, was completely excluded, removing the Terror from its historical context. The film largely excludes the common people of France, despite the fact that the Revolution was a popular uprising. See more »

Quotes

Robespierre: For revolutionaries, danger must never outweigh duty.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Son of the Shark (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

 
aside from a less than perfect ending, it's an excellent film
20 March 2006 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Danton was a hero and one of the founders of the French Revolution of 1789. This movie is set five years later and the revolution has morphed into something ugly. While initially the revolution promised freedom, at this point the small committee running the country is extremely repressive and is a dictatorship. Danton and his friends were angry at how the country wasn't better off in 1794 than it was BEFORE they got rid of their king, so they begin criticizing the government. The movie begins as the printer who makes critical pamphlets concerning the government is beaten and his business is destroyed. So much for "liberty, equality and fraternity"! So, as a result of being silenced this way, Danton et al begin publicly criticizing the government. Eventually, Robespierre (the leader of the committee) and his cronies trump up charges, have a show trial and get rid of the dissent. Some have mentioned that the Polish director, Wajda, also intended this to be a criticism of his own nation--which, at the time, was Soviet-dominated and very repressive as well. This makes sense as you see the movie unfold--especially when the government destroys all dissent "in the name of the people".

The acting is fine, the story compelling and I have no major criticism of the film. However, I really wish the ending had been handled differently. Especially because other than history lovers and French people, most probably have no idea that this execution helped to end the government. AFTER this purge of Danton in April 1794, Robespierre himself was executed in July 1794 because the country had just had enough--plus, those surviving Frenchmen knew that they, too, would face the guillotine sooner or later if this sick system remained in place. Some sort of an epilogue would have been nice--such as showing the soldiers coming for Robespierre. He responded by trying to kill himself first, but he only succeeded in blowing off part of his face--still alive, he was guillotined shortly afterward. This would have been a dandy little epilogue and could have been done in about five minutes. However, not showing a connection between Danton's death and the fall of the government is an odd thing to omit.


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