MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,909 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 22,141 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

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 38 titles
created 31 May 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 09 Jan 2012
 
a list of 21 titles
created 20 Oct 2012
 
a list of 23 titles
created 28 Dec 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 6 months ago
 

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 | Romance
    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  

Newly married couple Juliette and a ship captain Jean struggle through marriage as they travel on the L'atalante along with the captain's first mate Le père Jules and a cabin boy.

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  

Six vignettes follow the Allied invasion from July 1943 to winter 1944, from Sicily north to Venice. Communication is fragile. A woman leads an Allied patrol through a mine field; she dies ... 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
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
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
The 400 Blows (1959)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Intensely touching story of a misunderstood young adolescent who left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier
Ugetsu (1953)
Drama | Fantasy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A fantastic tale of war, love, family and ambition set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyô, Kinuyo Tanaka
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

Fort Douaumont was the largest fort in the defenses of Verdun. It was taken by the Germans on February 24th 1916 and recaptured by the French on October 24th 1916 as part of the Battle of Verdun (February 21st 1916 to December 18th 1916). The recapture of the fort is estimated to have cost the French army 100,000 casualties. The selection of this battle for the film is significant as German and French historians often use the battle to represent the horrors of the Great War. Estimates of total deaths (French and German) range around the 300,000 mark, with total casualties between 750,000 and 1,000,000. Note also that Elsa's husband was killed at the battle for Verdun. See more »

Goofs

As the WWI German soldiers are celebrating a French fort's capture, the map on the wall of the officers club is clearly an inter-war (1919-1938) map of Germany. See more »

Quotes

Capt. de Boeldieu: Out there, children play soldier...
Capt. de Boeldieu: In here, soldiers play like children.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Law & Order: Criminal Intent: Weeping Willow (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(1792) (uncredited)
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Humanist Classic
31 January 2002 | by (Berkeley, California) – See all my reviews

Grand Illusion is a movie about class that doesn't hate anyone. How often does that happen? Yes, there are namby-pamby movies that "show all sides" and bore everyone with their non-existent point-of-view, but that's not what I mean. And, of course, there are plenty of movies about class that reveal their biases from the start; I'm rather fond of Eat the Rich movies, myself. But Grand Illusion is about class without dismissing any of its characters. The aristocrats whose world is disappearing are presented as tragic figures, stuck in a code of life that is rapidly becoming meaningless. Both aristocrats know their time is past; the French one accepts this as probably a good thing, the German one doesn't (and blames the French one's sentiments on the French Revolution), but they both know their way of life is soon to be forgotten. And it would be easy for Renoir, when he made the film in the mid-30s a French communist with proletarian sympathies, to demonize these two. But he doesn't; he allows them their humanity, which is the most characteristic feature of Renoir movies in any event (he is the great humanist of movie history).

Nor does he show the collapse of the old way as an unfortunate preface to chaos. The bourgeois characters are good people. The world might be safe in their hands, as safe as in any other hands at least (except for the propensity among nations for war). All of the middle and lower-class characters in the movie are presented as people, not stereotypes. But Renoir doesn't accomplish this by collapsing all class boundaries into some homogenous universalism. These characters remain trapped within their class, and their class is clear to the viewer. The movie is not about the absence of class but about the crushing ironies of the very real existence of class in the lives of the characters. To show all classes without condescension, while retaining a particular point of view (that while people are good, it's best that the aristocratic world is in decline), is pretty amazing.

In Grand Illusion, the nominal hero is working/middle-class, but the upper class isn't evil and the lower class isn't romanticized or dismissed. And it's all accomplished in such a seamless way that many, if not most, first-time viewers might easily think it was a fine movie but something less than great. It sneaks up on you, and more than just about any film you can name, rewards multiple viewings.


99 of 112 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:
?