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

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Overview

User Rating:
8.2/10   22,494 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Charles Spaak (scenario and dialogue) &
Jean Renoir (scenario and dialogue)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Grand 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 POW 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 »
NewsDesk:
(143 articles)
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 (From ScreenDaily. 3 October 2014, 11:53 AM, PDT)

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 (From DearCinema.com. 19 September 2014, 12:52 AM, PDT)

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 (From Variety - Film News. 11 September 2014, 12:16 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A Humanist Classic See more (114 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
Barnathan .... location manager
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:
The battles in which Elsa's brothers died - Charleroi, Tannenberg and Liege - were all battles from 1914, the first year of the war. The Battle of Liège was the opening battle of the German invasion into Belgium, and the first battle of World War I. The Battle of Charleroi was fought on 21 August 1914 between the French and the Germans. The Battle of Tannenberg was in August 1914 and was fought between the Russians and the Germans.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: 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 Maréchal:So you're digging a hole like Monte Cristo. What a laugh.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in A Happy Event (2011)See more »
Soundtrack:
It's a Long, Long Way to TipperarySee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
99 out of 112 people found the following review useful.
A Humanist Classic, 31 January 2002
Author: Steven Rubio from Berkeley, California

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
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