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

 -  Drama | War  -  12 September 1938 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 22,169 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.

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Writers:

(scenario and dialogue), (scenario and dialogue)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The uniform worn by Jean Gabin was actually owned and worn by Jean Renoir, who served in the air force during WWI. 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

Lieutenant Maréchal: The theater's too deep for me. I prefer bicycling.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Melrose Place: Grand Delusions (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
So,I finally saw it and of course I thought it was one of the best films ever!!!
4 January 2002 | by (sweden) – See all my reviews

I have tried to get this film for months on the criterion collection but it seems impossible here in Sweden(Maybe not impossible,you can order it on Amazon but that´s to expensive).So when I finally found it on video this is what I say about it:

This anti-war masterpiece film is really ONE OF THE GREATEST FILMS EVER.I almost liked it as much as seven samurai.It´s a about a group of French prisoners during the world war one.

The performances is simply some of the best I have seen(Jean Gabin Erich von Stroheim...).The cinematography is beautiful,great script but I guess i was most impressed by the direction by Jean Renoir.

I don´t think that I have been more touched by a film then this.It has such a deep humanity.A poetic film that should be seen by every one.Also remember that I have only seen this film once and it could be in my top 20 over the best films ever and when I watch it again it could be in top 3.

RATING: 5/5


29 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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