Ingrid Bergman in the 1948 Film Joan of Arc

The face of Ingrid as Joan

The second time Ingrid Bergman portrayed Joan of Arc was in 1948. Ms. Bergman had lovingly persuaded (seduced) Victor Fleming into producing a film version of Maxwell Anderson's play. Ms. Bergman believed in this project so much that she willing used her own money to finance half of the movie. Mr. Maxwell Anderson, with the help of Mr. Andrew Solt, wrote the screenplay. The film's running time was 150 minutes. Ms. Bergman was nominated for "Best Actress" for her performance.

Proposed movie costume design for Ingrid, made from a 
soft red velvet Proposed movie costume design for Ingrid, made of gold 
brocade

Ms. Bergman spared neither time nor expense in order to make her film historically accurate. She ordered research done on every aspect of medieval life down to an accurate creation of medieval dog collars. She had the armor department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City create her armor. Instead of being made out of heavy steel it was instead made of aluminum. Even so her armor weighted 25 lbs!

THE STORY

Joan gets her hair cut

The plot follows the well known outlines of the career of the fifteenth century French saint, Joan of Arc. It begins with the peasant girl, Joan, in the remote village of Domremy in Lorraine. She hears voices that tell her to go forth and save France from the depredations of the invading English, who have taken over most of its territory and prevented its rightful king, the Dauphin Charles VII, from achieving his coronation.

Joan at the Dauphin's court with her friends, Jean de Metz 
and Bertrand de Poulengy

Saint Joan is sent by Robert de Baudricourt to the court of Charles VII at Chinon. Charles, was a worldly man who tries to trick the Maid by hiding among his courtiers while a noble pretends to be the king. But Joan makes her way with certainty to the real king, and he is moved by her eloquence and positivism to recruit an army to fight the English.

Joan with her captains

Joan of Arc is placed at the head of the French army but its captains are not eager to follow her commands.

Joan among her soldiers

Saint Joan decides to circumvent her captains' objections by appealing directly to her soldiers.

Joan kneels while holding her sword

Moved by Joan's stirring words, her soldiers agree to give up their evil ways in order that they might be victorious in battle.

Joan on horseback with banner unfurled

Stirred by the sight of Joan, her men and the reluctant captains rally to her side.

close up of Joan holding her banner

Saint Joan leads her troops to Orleans where the English have a death grip around the city.

Joan on horseback holds her sword at the ready

"Now is the time!" Joan bravely cries to her men. The attack on the Tourelles begins!


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Virginia Frohlick
stjoan@nmia.com