IMDb > La Grande Illusion (1937)
La grande illusion
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La Grande Illusion (1937) More at IMDbPro »La grande illusion (original title)

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La Grande Illusion -- 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.

Overview

User Rating:
8.2/10   24,034 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Charles Spaak (scenario and dialogue) &
Jean Renoir (scenario and dialogue)
Contact:
View company contact information for La Grande Illusion on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 September 1938 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A Great Drama of Human Emotions See more »
Plot:
During the first World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Class(ic)! See more (119 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jean Gabin ... Le lieutenant Maréchal
Dita Parlo ... Elsa

Pierre Fresnay ... Le captaine de Boeldieu

Erich von Stroheim ... 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)

Marcel Dalio ... Le lieutenant Rosenthal (as Dalio)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Jacques Becker ... L'officier anglais (uncredited)
Habib Benglia ... Le sénégalais (uncredited)
Pierre Blondy ... Un soldat (uncredited)
Albert Brouett ... Un prisonnier (uncredited)
George Forster ... Maison-Neuve (uncredited)
Georges Fronval ... Le soldat allemand qui tue le capitaine de Boeldieu (uncredited)
Karl Heil ... Un officier de la forteresse (uncredited)
Carl Koch ... L'ordonnance de von Rauffenstein (uncredited)
Little Peters ... La petite fille d'Elsa (uncredited)
Claude Sainval ... Le capitaine Ringis (uncredited)
Michel Salina ... (uncredited)
Claude Vernier ... L'officer prussien (uncredited)

Directed by
Jean Renoir 
 
Writing credits
Charles Spaak (scenario and dialogue) &
Jean Renoir (scenario and dialogue)

Produced by
Albert Pinkovitch .... producer (uncredited)
Frank Rollmer .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Joseph Kosma (music)
 
Cinematography by
Christian Matras (photography)
 
Film Editing by
Marthe Huguet (film editor) (as Huguet)
Renée Lichtig (1958 version)
Marguerite Renoir (film editor) (as Margueritte)
 
Production Design by
Eugène Lourié  (as Lourié)
 
Set Decoration by
Eugène Lourié  (as Lourié)
 
Costume Design by
René Decrais (costumes) (as Decrais)
 
Makeup Department
Raffels .... make-up
 
Production Management
Raymond Blondy .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jacques Becker .... assistant director
Robert Rips .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Alexandre Laurié .... props (as Lourié)
Raymond Pillon .... props (as Pillon)
 
Sound Department
Joseph de Bretagne .... sound engineer (as De Bretagne)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Jean Bourgoin .... assistant cameraman (as Bourgoin)
Ernest Bourreaud .... assistant cameraman (as Bourreaud)
Claude Renoir .... assistant cameraman
Sam Levin .... set photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Suzy Berton .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Emile Vuillermoz .... musical director (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Maurice Barnathan .... location manager (as Barnathan)
Pierre Blondy .... general manager
Françoise Giroud .... script girl (as Gourdji)
Carl Koch .... technical consultant
Robert Rips .... set manager
Herman G. Weinberg .... subtitler: English (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"La grande illusion" - France (original title)
"Grand Illusion" - Australia (video box title), USA
See more »
Runtime:
114 min | 94 min (1937 release) | Germany:107 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:G | Finland:K-8 (1959) | Finland:(Banned) (1942) | Finland:K-16 (1937) | Germany:12 (f) (1948) | Germany:(Banned) (1937-1945) | Italy:T (re-rating) (1947) | Italy:(Banned) (original rating) (1938-1947) | Malaysia:U | Netherlands:14 (re-rating) (1958) | Netherlands:14 (re-rating) (1947) | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1937) | Norway:12 (1959) | Norway:16 (1937) | Portugal:M/6 | South Korea:12 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) (cut) | UK:U (video rating) | USA:Unrated

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Because shooting in Nazi Germany was out of the question, exteriors were done in the Alsace, the easternmost region of France, which retains a rather German character (and had been under German rule on and off, most recently from the late 19th century until World War I).See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Lt. Maréchal is climbing down the rope from the watchtower the wooden window shutters can be seen closing above him even though he closed them himself minutes prior.See more »
Quotes:
Capt. de Boeldieu:May I ask you a question?
Capt. von Rauffenstein:Of course.
Capt. de Boeldieu:Why did you make an exception of me by inviting me here?
Capt. von Rauffenstein:Because your name is Boeldieu, career officer in the French Army. And I am Rauffenstein, career officer in the Imperial German Army.
Capt. de Boeldieu:But my comrades are officers as well.
Capt. von Rauffenstein:A 'Maréchal' and 'Rosenthal,' officers?
Capt. de Boeldieu:They're fine soldiers.
Capt. von Rauffenstein:Charming legacy of the French Revolution.
Capt. de Boeldieu:Neither you nor I can stop the march of time.
Capt. von Rauffenstein:Boldieu, I don't know who will win this war, but whatever the outcome, it will mean the end of the Rauffensteins and the Boeldieus.
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in A Happy Event (2011)See more »
Soundtrack:
Il était un petit navireSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
34 out of 39 people found the following review useful.
Class(ic)!, 28 May 2006
Author: Gary170459 from Derby, UK

Every time I watch this I find something else I hadn't thought of before, every viewing is an augmented experience. Things I hadn't spotted at 11, 19, 22 etc I spotted last night, mostly inconsequential but still adding to the picture 36 years after my first time. That to me is the difference between great films and Great films, one of the reasons why this ostensibly simple movie is one of the all time Greats.

And it is simple (the simplest things are usually the best) - boring to some people who sadly will never understand its logic and magic - an absorbing prisoner of war tale that is also a prisoner of class tale. It defines that class loyalties are more meaningful than patriotism even if not always practical, and that to those who consider themselves to have breeding it's far more important to have "blood" than capital. Boldieu and Rauffenstein embody this, they both knew their chivalric world order was being gradually diminished - the next war will and was led by people without breeding, types like Marechal and Rosenthal who fought on. The most significant borders are not between countries, races, religions, sexes or ages but those between the classes. Renoir was at his most inspired with Illusion, with so many memorable images and set-pieces, an engrossing storyline even when down to trying to say blue eyes in German or being posh by gossipping in English, and fantastic acting by all concerned. Everything has already been covered and better in previous posts, but I would add I don't understand why Regle du jeu is the Renoir film that gets the kudos today - unless by being deliberately more obscure it appeals to influential Artheads.

The French film I love the most.

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