Incredible Sarah (1976) - Rotten Tomatoes

Incredible Sarah (1976)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Every so often, an actor or actress will achieve a fame which transcends any memory of their work, and he or she becomes synonymous with the word "star." Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) was one such person. A commanding performance by Glenda Jackson towers over this episodic drama chronicling the early life of legendary stage actress Bernhardt. The film follows Bernhardt's career trajectory from her early years on the French stage, through a period of celebrity and notoriety, until an early comeback at the age of 35. The film begins when Bernhardt wins a Comedie Francaise audition as a teenager in 1860 and vows, "I shall be the greatest actress that ever lived." What follows is a sampler of the more bizarre aspects of Bernhardt's career -- from giving birth to a nobleman's son out of wedlock, to her proclivity towards sleeping in a coffin, to her insistence on being paid after every performance in gold. Interspersed throughout the film is Jackson as Bernhardt performing excerpts from La Passant, Phedre, La Dame aux Camelias, and King Lear. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi


Glenda Jackson
as Sarah Bernhardt
Yvonne Mitchell
as Mam'selle
David Langton
as Duc De Morny
Simon Williams
as Henri De Ligne
Edward Judd
as Jarrett
Rosemarie Dunham
as Mrs. Bernhardt
Peter Sallis
as Thierry
Margaret Courtenay
as Madame Nathalie
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Critic Reviews for Incredible Sarah

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (3)

The achievement here is that Jackson makes the character comprehensible and, in a qualified way, admirable, notwithstanding the clear evidence of a totally selfcentered nature.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

Glenda Jackson emotes effectively enough through a series of cameo pieces from the classics, but is floored by the bits in between.

February 9, 2006 | Full Review…

[Glenda Jackson] is the only reason to put up with the clichéd lunacies of The Incredible Sarah for more than five minutes. In every other respect, the movie is a disaster.

May 9, 2005 | Full Review…

The Incredible Sarah is so old-fashioned it creaks. Yet it's not bad fun if you can still work up an appetite for a flamboyant ''biopic" that spins legend upon myth until facts don't seem to matter any more.

November 30, 2021 | Full Review…

The fact that Readers Digest was the executive producer for the film is a clue to its snail-paced mediocrity.

May 19, 2020 | Full Review…

Ruth Wolff's inexcusably banal screenplay and Richard unimaginative direction conspire to make the film appear as old fashioned as an old Grace Moore movie.

October 31, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews

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