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Grand Illusion: Essential Art House
Grand Illusion Essential Art House
Actors: Erich Von Stroheim, Jean Gabin, Jean Dasté, Pierre Fresnay, Marcel Dalio
Director: Jean Renoir
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     2008     1hr 54min

Jean Renoir's pacifist masterpiece stars Jean Gabin as a French World War I POW held by Erich Von Stroheim's German captain. One of the greatest antiwar films ever made, as well as a rousing prison-escape adventure, Grand ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Erich Von Stroheim, Jean Gabin, Jean Dasté, Pierre Fresnay, Marcel Dalio
Director: Jean Renoir
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Criterion Collection
Format: DVD - Black and White,Full Screen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/09/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/1938
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1938
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 54min
Screens: Black and White,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 15
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: French
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Representing humanity over war...
Edmonson | Canada | 12/01/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

""The Grand Illusion" (1937) could mean to represent many things. As one of the escapees mentions at the end, nature has no borders, those are artificial things made by people. Mankind creates many illusions, and Renoir invites us to ask what is the grandest illusion of them all. The film deals with many aspects of class, ethnicity, language, and focuses on the arbitrariness of these differences. These people all know that the war will end, and that a new era will be ushered in that will be more democratic, and that the age of aristocracies will come to an end.

The film is a realist fantasy that Jean Renoir created which focused on the humanity, and friendships, of the people. We don't really see much in the way of fighting, or any other such things, which are common to most war films. The little fighting that does occur lacks any of the drama often depicted in war films. The drama of war is not glorified here since it has no value for Renoir. He is interested in the people, not the drama of war. Goebbels cited the movie as being the "Cinematic Public Enemy No.1". This film was dangerous for the German war effort because it showed that those who were not German were human too. For Renoir, war, and its creation of false beliefs and goals, was a grand illusion."
Said to be one of the best films of all time
ChamisaLady | New Mexico, USA | 04/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've seen this several times and will see it many more. As video format technology changes, this is one of the ones I buy again and again. Drama, suspense, humor, chivalry, and a splash of romance are all here, wonderfully acted and brilliantly directed."