Charlotte Corday (1908)
Short, Drama, History · 6 November 1908
The scene of this beautifully colored film is laid in that period of the French Revolution, showing the tragic ending of Charlotte Corday, who, through her iron nerve, planned to rid France of Marat, one of the leaders of the revolution, because be represents in her mind the party responsible for so many crimes. Charlotte Corday was born in Normandy of noble parentage, and was a girl of striking beauty and a powerful personality. Being highly educated, she made a close study of current polities, and was in sympathy with a party known as the Girondins, whose power was overthrown. While living at Caen she met and talked over conditions with Barbarous, a leader of the party, and. through him she learned that Marat was an enemy to France, so takes it upon herself to avenge the death of many who were being sent to the guillotine every day. She comes to Paris, where she writes to Marat, begging him to grant her an audience, and stating that she has important information to reveal, but he would not see her. Finally she goes to his home, and when she is refused admittance, forces her way in and presents herself to Marat, who is seated in a bathtub. She tells him the names of the men at Caen who are affiliated with the Girondist party, and as he eagerly writes them down, mentioning that they will die on the guillotine, she plunges a knife into his heart, killing him instantly. The servants and police rush in and drag her to jail through the clamoring mob who are eager to strike her down. Taken then to the tribunal of justice, she makes a confession of her guilt and is condemned to die. Listening to her doom with cold indifference, she is then taken back to prison, and we next see her on her way to the guillotine, followed by a mob which howls with fury as the beautiful girl bravely mounts the steps and stands erect, her face pale, her eyes steady, facing death like a soldier. Laying her beautiful head on the block, in an instant all is over with Charlotte Corday.
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