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In 1431 Jeanne, a French peasant girl, is imprisoned for heresy and brought to trial at Rouen. Despite rigorous interrogation by the judges and constant persecution from the jailers, her faith remains unshaken. The relentless theological questioning and argument in court is broken only by an ineffectual attempt at torture and an examination to prove her virginity. Jeanne's insistence that her military ventures were bidden by God is scoffed at by the English, who are anxious to destroy the legend already building around her. In a moment of weakness during the trial, Jeanne recants her faith. She is sentenced to life imprisonment, but when she retracts her earlier confession, the court decrees that she be burned at the stake as a witch.