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The Rules of the Game (1939)

La règle du jeu (original title)
Approved | | Comedy, Drama | 8 April 1950 (USA)
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:

Writers:

(scenario & dialogue), (collaborator) (as Koch)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Christine de la Cheyniest (as Nora Grégor)
...
Lisette, sa camériste
Mila Parély ...
Geneviève de Marras
Odette Talazac ...
Madame Charlotte de la Plante
Claire Gérard ...
Madame de la Bruyère
Anne Mayen ...
Jackie, nièce de Christine
Lise Elina ...
Radio-Reporter (as Lise Élina)
...
...
Marceau, le braconnier (as Carette)
Roland Toutain ...
André Jurieux
Gaston Modot ...
Edouard Schumacher, le garde-chasse
...
Octave
Pierre Magnier ...
Le général
Eddy Debray ...
Corneille, le majordome
Pierre Nay ...
Monsieur de St. Aubin
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Storyline

Aviator André Jurieux has just completed a record-setting flight, but when he is greeted by an admiring crowd, all he can say to them is how miserable he is that the woman he loves did not come to meet him. He is in love with Christine, the wife of aristocrat Robert de la Cheyniest. Robert himself is involved in an affair with Geneviève de Marras, but he is trying to break it off. Meanwhile, André seeks help from his old friend Octave, who gets André an invitation to the country home where Robert and Christine are hosting a large hunting party. As the guests arrive for the party, their cordial greetings hide their real feelings, along with their secrets - and even some of the servants are involved in tangled relationships. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One of the two or three greatest films ever made in France.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

8 April 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Rules of the Game  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

FRF 5,500,500 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The fact the movie was a complete failure when it came out in 1939 is partly a myth: it was a relative failure. Renoir himself thought it was a complete flop, but he was impressed by a few hostile reactions (which included fights and allegedly a man trying to set fire to a theatre). Attendance was low, but it was summer, there were political tensions with Germany and probably the public was put off by the turmoil around the movie. Critics were balanced: a study showed about a third were positive, a third negative and a third reserved. The movie was banned when WWII started and then again during German occupation, but so were other movies, e.g. the famous "Le Quai des brumes" (1938) and "Le Jour se lève" (1939), both by Carné. See more »

Goofs

When the party first arrives at the château, a boom shadow falls on the back of the head of the old white haired guy standing there. See more »

Quotes

Geneviève de Marras: Love, as it exists in society, is merely the mingling of two whims and the contact of two skins.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Viridiana (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Danse macabre, Op.40
(1874) (uncredited)
Music by Camille Saint-Saëns
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Humblingly wonderful
18 October 2000 | by (Belfast, NI) – See all my reviews

How can words do justice to this dream of a film? It is one of a dozen or so movies in all film history where just everything seems to have gone right. The casting is perfect, it is technically so seamless to make discussion of that side of the film crass, and the script is one of the great narratives in any medium of its century. The characterisation is absolutely matchless. I cannot think of a film with characters as rich as Lisette, the maid, la Chesnaye, the unfaithful aristocrat, Marceau the poacher, and, above all, Renoir's bumbling Octave who sets the tragic events in motion. Great dramatic art, of which this is arguably the cinema's finest example, is usually characterised by irony. La Règle du Jeu has it in spades. In the sensational final 25 minutes, when enemies become friends, and friends enemies, the cinema seems to take off in flight raising this great art to undreamed of heights. It is just so perfect, it makes you want to weep.


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