over 1 year
Fairly fast paced WWI drama with memorable scenes and a haunting score by Joseph Kosma.
over 1 year
Beautiful and humanistic - a war film unlike any other
over 4 years
A rare film that portrays war with humanity, that shows the soldiers are people, not units
almost 5 years
A humanist drama that, like many of Renoir's work from the 30s, precipitates WWII.
Tim Jules Hull
almost 6 years
A lot of pathos here, but just doesn't reach my heart the way it does for so many others.
Grand Illusion (French: La grande illusion) is a 1937 French war film directed by Jean Renoir, who co-wrote the screenplay with Charles Spaak. The story concerns class relationships among a small group of French officers who are prisoners of war during World War I and are plotting an escape.
The title of the film comes from a book—The Great Illusion by British economist Norman Angell—which argued that war is futile because of the common economic interests of all European nations. The perspective of the film is generously humanistic to its characters of various nationalities.
It is regarded by critics and film historians as one of the masterpieces of French cinema and among the greatest films ever made. Orson Welles named Grand Illusion as one of the movies he would take with him "on the ark." Empire magazine ranked it #35 in "The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema" in 2010.
During the First World War, two French aviators — aristocratic Captain de Boeldieu (played by Pierre Fresnay) and...