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AlbertHerring
Oct 10, 2003

king of the may more like governor of virginia


Directed by: Jean Renoir
Starring: Jean Gabin, Dita Parlo, Pierre Fresnay, Erich von Stroheim, Marcel Dalio

La Grande Illusion (The Grand Illusion) may well be one of the greatest war films ever made. It was filmed in 1937, when France was on the brink of war with Germany, and describes the horrors endured by French prisoners during the First World War.

Jean Gabin stars as Lt. Maréchal, a French pilot who is shot down while flying Capt. de Boieldieu (masterfully portrayed by Pierre Fresnay) on a tour of inspection along the front. The two men are shuffled from prison camp to prison camp, eventually ending up at one led by Capt. von Rauffenstein (Erich von Stroheim), who desperately tries to connect with Boieldieu as one aristocrat to another. Boieldieu eventually sacrifices himself so that Maréchal and Lt. Rosenthal (Marcel Dalio) may escape. The two men find refuge at the house of a German peasant woman, Eva (Dita Parlo), remaining there for some months. Eventually they find their way back to France.

Even by Renoir's exacting standards, this film is a masterpiece. It is well-directed, well-acted (the deathbed scene between von Rauffenstein and de Boieldieu in particular being one of the finest scenes in French film), and well-written. The film is in French, but subtitled copies are not hard to find. A must see.

5/5

AlbertHerring fucked around with this message at 16:46 on May 2, 2004

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Arm Unit 700
Sep 13, 2003

buh?

I thought this was one of Renoir's poorer films, but still excellent.

It's directed by Jean Renoir by the way, Claud was his father

AlbertHerring
Oct 10, 2003

king of the may more like governor of virginia


quote:

Arm Unit 700 came out of the closet to say:
I thought this was one of Renoir's poorer films, but still excellent.

It's directed by Jean Renoir by the way, Claud was his father

Crap, thanks. It's the art historian in me.

Fixed.

([derail]Didn't Jean have a brother named Claude? Or am I imagining things now?[/derail]

edit: \/\/\/\/Something was nagging me about that - it's been too drat long since I studied Impressionism. (And thank God for it.)

Oh well - at least I can remember (Oscar) Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro, Mary Cassatt, Frederic Bazille, Edouard Manet, and Edgar Degas.

AlbertHerring fucked around with this message at 17:10 on May 2, 2004

Dr. Klahn
Nov 24, 2003

hi

quote:

AlbertHerring came out of the closet to say:


Crap, thanks. It's the art historian in me.

Fixed.

([derail]Didn't Jean have a brother named Claude? Or am I imagining things now?[/derail]

Yes. His brother was Claude. His father's name was Pierre Auguste, who you may have heard of.

This is a wonderful love poem to the passing of the European aristocracy. Central film of the Popular Front and a good one. The first time I watched it I was terribly hungover and slept through half of it, but the parts I did see resonated. Then I watched it again. 4/5.

Arm Unit 700
Sep 13, 2003

buh?

Yeah, Claude was his brother, my bad.

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