The Life of Emile Zola

Plodding briefly, inaccurately and somewhat risibly through Zola's early career, this solemn biopic improves no end when it gets to its main course: an account of the Dreyfus affair and how the now prosperously ageing Zola rediscovered his youthful ideals in an impassioned fight for justice. Carefully mounted, well directed and acted, but basically the sort of well-meaning pap out of which Oscars are made.

Release details

Duration: 116 mins

Cast and crew

Director: William Dieterle
Screenwriter: Geza Herczeg, Heinz Herald, Norman Reilly Raine
Cast: Robert Barrat
Joseph Schildkraut
Erin O'Brien Moore
Gloria Holden
Louis Calhern
Donald Crisp
Paul Muni
Gale Sondergaard
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