La grande illusion

La grande illusion

La grande illusion

Arguably Jean Renoir's greatest masterpiece, an anti-war saga concerning the relationships amongst a group of French officers - captured by the enemy and plotting their escape, during World War I - and a meditation on the collapse of Europe's old world order. In a tribute to its power, La grande illusion was named by Orson Welles as the film he'd take "on the ark" and by Nazi Joseph Goebbels as "Cinematic Public Enemy Number One".

Best Film ('Overall Artistic Contribution') at Venice Film Festival 1937
1937Rating: G114 minsFranceFrench, German and Russian with English subtitles
DramaWarClassic
Director:
Jean Renoir ('La règle du jeu', 'Les bas-fonds', 'La bête humaine')
Writer:
Charles SpaakJean Renoir
Cast:
Jean GabinDita ParloPierre FresnayErich von StroheimJulien CaretteMarcel Dalio

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La grande illusion / Reviews

Variety

Variety

An artistically masterful feature, the picture breathes the intimate life of warriors on both sides during the [First] World War.

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Total Film

Total Film

A compassionate, ambiguous work: an anti-war drama that doesn’t contain a single battlefield scene.

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Time Out

Time Out

Funny, heart-wrenching, nail-biting, caustic and profound, touting the futility of armed combat while turning imprisonment and escape into a microcosm for society's aspirations and contradictions.

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The Guardian

The Guardian

[This] anti-war masterpiece created a new genre, the POW movie, and with his 1939 La Règle du jeu constitutes a diptych of unparalleled excellence.

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Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

The camera doesn't point or intrude, but glides.

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Little White Lies

Little White Lies

Tragic. Moving. Funny. A pure joy.

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Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

A moving and inspiring story with stunning direction, getting performances from Fresnay and von Stonheim in particular that were well overlooked come Oscar time.

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