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The Life of Emile Zola

  NR Closed Captioning

William Dieterle

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About the Movie

Nominated for five Oscars and winner for Best Picture, this biographical drama stars Paul Muni ("I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang," "The Life of Louis Pasteur") as the famed writer who risks his reputation to defend a Jewish army officer accused of treason. Academy Award-winner Paul Muni received an Oscar-nomination for his stirring performance while co-star Joseph Schildkraut won for Supporting Actor. Recently selected by the prestigious American Film Institute as one of the top 400 American films of all time. "The Life of Emile Zola" was also selected for preservation by the National Film Registry due to its cultural, historical and aesthetic significance.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 24
  • Fresh: 18
  • Rotten: 6
  • Average Rating: 7.2/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: A great and valuable and stirring film document. – Frank S. Nugent, New York Times, Jan 13, 2014

Fresh: Last week Warner Brothers released a movie which is probably the outstanding prestige picture of the season. It is also one of the best shows. – TIME Magazine, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: The film is destined to box office approval of the most substantial character. It is finely made and merits high rating as cinema art and significant recognition as major showmanship. – John C. Flinn Sr., Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Rotten: This act of altruism on behalf of the brothers Warner was rewarded with the best picture Oscar for 1937; it isn't so much bad as utterly, magisterially bland. – Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Excellent Movie - A must see!!!!

This was an excellent movie!!! It had a wonderful talented cast and Paul Muni gave a performance of a lifetime. I watched this movie as a young girl and fell in love with it. I watched it again as an adult and fell in love with it all over again. I wish I could purchase it as it is worth keeping, a classic like Rebecca.

The Life of Emile Zola
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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 1937

Customer Ratings