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At once majestic and unbearable, The Passion of Joan of Arc quickly became a legend. Its star Renee Falconetti (often credted as Maria), whose performance as Joan has been called by some the greatest in film history, never made another movie and allegedly went mad.
As every buff knows, on its theatrical release Vertigo was a failure; only over the subsequent two decades when it mostly was unseen did its reputation go through a radical reassessment.
The great American film epic, its first two parts are mostly perfect, and when they aren’t, the whole overwhelms the sum.