|Directed by||José Ferrer|
|Produced by||Sam Zimbalist|
|Screenplay by||Gore Vidal|
|Based on||the book Captain Dreyfus; The Story of a Mass Hysteria by Nicholas Halasz|
|Music by||William Alwyn|
|Edited by||Frank Clarke|
I Accuse! is a British-American 1958 CinemaScope biographical drama film directed by and starring José Ferrer. The film is based on the true story of the Dreyfus Case, in which a Jewish captain in the French Army was falsely accused of treason.
In 1894 Alfred Dreyfus (José Ferrer), a Jewish captain in the French Army, is falsely accused of treason. He is sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil's Island. Major Ferdinand Walsin-Esterhazy, an infantry officer of Hungarian descent, helps in the investigation. When he is found to be the real spy, the French Army tries to hide the truth by exonerating the traitor in a mock trial. Émile Zola, the famous French author, writes an open letter to the prime minister of France entitled "I Accuse!", which reveals the truth behind the cover up. The letter is published in the newspaper, causing a firestorm around the world, leading to a re-examination of the entire Dreyfus case. Eventually, Esterhazy makes a full confession, and Dreyfus is completely exonerated, being inducted into the French Legion of Honor.
- José Ferrer as Captain Alfred Dreyfus
- Anton Walbrook as Major Esterhazy
- Viveca Lindfors as Lucie Dreyfus
- Leo Genn as Major Piquart
- Emlyn Williams as Émile Zola
- David Farrar as Mathieu Dreyfus
- Donald Wolfit as General Mercier
- Herbert Lom as Major DuPaty de Clam
- Harry Andrews as Major Henry
- Felix Aylmer as Edgar Demange
- George Coulouris as Colonel Sandherr
- Peter Illing as Georges Clemenceau
- Michael Hordern as Prosecutor
- Laurence Naismith as Judge
- Ernest Clark as Prosecutor
- Eric Pohlmann as Bertillon
- John Phillips as Prosecutor, Esterhazy trial
- Malcolm Keen as President of France
- Charles Gray as Captain Brossard
The film was based on a book Captain Dreyfus: Story of Mass Hysteria which was published in 1955. The New York Times said it "had high merits".
In October 1955 MGM acquired an option on the film rights. The story had been filmed previously, notably in The Life of Émile Zola and The Dreyfus Case, but MGM claimed the book "contains quite a bit of material that had not come to life before".
In March Viveca Lindfors signed to co star.
The film was known as Captain Dreyfus before being retitled I Accuse.
The film was a box office flop. It earned $190,000 in the US and Canada and $475,000 elsewhere, leading to a loss of $1,415,000.
The fact that Dreyfus was railroaded because he was Jewish had been obscured in the 1937 movie The Life of Émile Zola. Only those villains whose names were a matter of public record (Major Dort, Major Esterhazy) are specifically identified. Others are referred to as the Chief of Staff, the Minister of War, etc., to avoid lawsuits from their descendants (the events depicted in the film, most of which took place between 1894 and 1902, were still within living memory in 1937). As for Dreyfus himself, he was not freed and restored to rank in 1902, the year of Zola's death, but in 1906 – after being found guilty again in an 1899 retrial (Dreyfus died in 1935, outliving everyone else involved in the case).
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
- ALBERT GUERARD (31 July 1955). "The Magnificent Storm". New York Times. p. BR3.
- A. H. WEILER (9 October 1955). "BY WAY OF REPORT: Prospect for Zinnemann -- Local Film Matters". New York Times. p. X5.
- Hopper, Hedda (15 January 1957). "Looking at Hollywood: José Ferrer Will Direct, Star in Dreyfus Case Film". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. a9.
- "Peck to perform in movie for Fox". New York Times. 15 January 1957. p. 24.
- "'My man Godfrey' suspended again". New York Times. 5 March 1957. p. 36.
- "2 Script Writers Win Credit Fight". New York Times. 6 March 1957. p. 34.
- Buchwald, Art (10 June 1957). "L'AFFAIRE DREYFUS". Los Angeles Times. p. B5.
- Louella Parsons (14 June 1957). "Alan Ladd Goes Back To Detecting". The Washington Post and Times Herald. p. A21.
- TCM – Ben Mankiewicz on 28 March 2015