(LA GRANDE ILLUSION)
THE GRAND ILLUSION
Drama | Running Time: 105 minutes
1937 / French dialogue
Country: FranceDirected by: Jean Renoir
He was a French director, screenwriter, actor, producer and author, born in 1894, and son of leading painter Auguste Renoir. Jean became known for "Boudu Saved from Drowning" (1932); "The Crime of Monsieur Lange” (1936) among others. "The Grande Illusion" (1937) was his way of denouncing the World War.
CastJean Gabin, Erich Von Stroheim, Pierre Fresnay, Marcel Dalio
ScriptwriterJean Renoir, Charles Spaak
Orson Welles described Jean Renoir's 1937 humanist masterpiece as one of two films he would have with him "on the Ark"; he didn't name the other one. Set during World War I, it follows two French airmen – Boeldieu, an aristocratic officer, and Marechal, a working-class mechanic – as they are taken prisoner by German flying ace Rittmeister von Rauffenstein, who soon finds he and Boeldieu have Parisian friends in common. Their bond shows the extent to which class divides and the folly of this fight. The two Frenchmen are then moved from one prison camp to the next, joining forces with Rosenthal – the scion of a French-Jewish banking family – in a grand escape plan. Renoir's great film critiques romantic ideas of duty and patriotism that sustain wars and condemns the doctrine of hate about to tear Europe apart again.