MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 313 this week

The Grand Illusion (1937)
"La grande illusion" (original title)

 -  Drama | War  -  12 September 1938 (USA)
8.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 21,993 users  
Reviews: 113 user | 111 critic

During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German POW camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from.

Director:

Writers:

(scenario and dialogue), (scenario and dialogue)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 31 titles
created 10 May 2012
 
a list of 48 titles
created 01 Jul 2012
 
a list of 39 titles
created 06 Jul 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 24 Nov 2012
 
a list of 38 titles
created 26 Aug 2013
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Grand Illusion (1937)

The Grand Illusion (1937) on IMDb 8.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Grand Illusion.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A bourgeois life in France at the onset of World War II, as the rich and their poor servants meet up at a French chateau.

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Marcel Dalio, Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In this classic adaptation of Emile Zola's novel, a tortured train engineer falls in love with a troubled married woman who has helped her husband commit a murder.

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Jean Gabin, Julien Carette, Simone Simon
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A charismatic thief makes friends with a bankrupt baron who comes to live in the thief's slum. Meanwhile the thief seeks the love of a young woman, who is held emotionally captive by her slumlord family.

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Jean Gabin, Suzy Prim, Louis Jouvet
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

This tale centers around the love between Baptiste, a theater mime, and Claire Reine, an actress and otherwise woman-about-town who calls herself Garance. Garance, in turn, is loved by ... See full summary »

Director: Marcel Carné
Stars: Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault, Pierre Brasseur
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The location: Nazi occupied Rome. As Rome is classified an open city, most Romans can wander the streets without fear of the city being bombed or them being killed in the process. But life ... See full summary »

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Anna Magnani, Aldo Fabrizi, Marcello Pagliero
L'Atalante (1934)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When Juliette marries Jean, she comes to live with him as he captains a river barge. Besides the two of them, are a cabin boy and the strange old second mate Pere Jules. Soon bored by life ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Vigo
Stars: Dita Parlo, Jean Dasté, Michel Simon
Paisan (1946)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Attraverso sei episodi distinti ed indipendenti uno dall'altro, il film rievoca l'avanzata delle truppe alleate in Italia. Il primo parla di un episodio dello sbarco in Sicilia : una ... See full summary »

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Carmela Sazio, Gar Moore, William Tubbs
Tokyo Story (1953)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Chishû Ryû, Chieko Higashiyama, Sô Yamamura
Umberto D. (1952)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A elderly man and his dog struggle to survive on his government pension in Rome.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Carlo Battisti, Maria Pia Casilio, Lina Gennari
Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.

Directors: Jean Cocteau, René Clément
Stars: Jean Marais, Josette Day, Mila Parély
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A account of underground resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied France.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel
L'Avventura (1960)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A woman disappears during a Mediterranean boating trip. But during the search, her lover and her best friend become attracted to each other.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Gabriele Ferzetti, Monica Vitti, Lea Massari
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Dita Parlo ...
Elsa - Farm Woman
Pierre Fresnay ...
Le captaine de Boeldieu
...
Le captaine von Rauffenstein (as Eric von Stroheim)
Julien Carette ...
Cartier - l'acteur (as Carette)
Georges Péclet ...
Le serrurier (as Peclet)
Werner Florian ...
Le sergent Arthur
Jean Dasté ...
L'instituteur (as Daste)
Sylvain Itkine ...
Le lieutenant Demolder (as Itkine)
Gaston Modot ...
L'ingénieur (as Modot)
...
Le lieutenant Rosenthal (as Dalio)
Edit

Storyline

During 1st WW, two French officers are captured. Captain De Boeldieu is an aristocrat while Lieutenant Marechal was a mechanic in civilian life. They meet other prisoners from various backgrounds, as Rosenthal, son of wealthy Jewish bankers. They are separated from Rosenthal before managing to escape. A few months later, they meet again in a fortress commanded by the aristocrat Van Rauffenstein. De Boeldieu strikes up a friendship with him but Marechal and Rosenthal still want to escape... Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Great Drama of Human Emotions

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

12 September 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Grand Illusion  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$50,793 (USA) (13 August 1999)

Gross:

$172,885 (USA) (30 November 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1937 release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Frequently cited by Woody Allen as the finest picture ever made. See more »

Goofs

When Boeldieu is dead, Rauffenstein wants to close his eyes with his hand. When the hand of Rauffenstein gets close to Boeldieu, his eye moves. See more »

Quotes

Lieutenant Rosenthal: Frontiers are an invention of men. Nature doesn't give a hoot.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Koyaanisqatsi (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary
(1912) (uncredited)
Written by Jack Judge and Harry Williams
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

"Good company" is harder to make than "good war"
19 May 2000 | by (san francisco, usa) – See all my reviews

From Jean Renoir's autobiography, My Life and My Films (1974):

"If a French farmer should find himself dining at the same table as a French financier, those two Frenchmen would have nothing to say to each other, each being unconcerned with the other's interests. But if a French farmer meets a Chinese farmer they will find any amount to talk about. This theme of the bringing together of men through their callings and common interests has haunted me all my life and does so still. It is the theme of 'La Grande Illusion' and it is present, more or less, in all my works."

In a sense, 'La Grande Illusion' is a counterpoint in an argument of stories: in one corner, Jean Renoir & friends singing about humor and good cheer; in the other, a handful of Germans demanding bigotry and murderous pride.

My opinion of the movie is quite high, but I think, from having read that book and a few others, that the real accomplishments in 'Illusion,' artistic and thematic, come directly from Renoir's deep affection of people and our loves.

To live your life with love and humor takes thoughtful delicacy. It's much easier to close your heart, fence yourself in, and never have a true friend in your life: and such closed-hearted people are inevitably the ones who coolly turn the political screws until the world bursts into famine and war.

It was too much to think that 'La Grande Illusion' would prevent the then coming war, as Renoir hoped. But to look at the story again, as a lyrical anti-fascist statement and a call to weigh friendship and good company over nationalism (of any sort), that I think is where the story gets really good.

The modern era continues to give us a real choice. We can kill, without effort, to subdue the stranger. Or we can join the stranger for a meal and a conversation, and become friends. Which of these is the true vision of the world's "leaders"? Cold hearts, cold future.

Something to think about as you watch the movie.


55 of 72 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What would you say is the 'grand illusion'? conifranoh
Racist moment? chapmanshomer
Illusion vs. Citizen Kane kapps73
Heil Hitler? kjewitt
Random breaks into English? ChienPo321
English Version coronaxtra11
Discuss The Grand Illusion (1937) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?