MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 123 this week

The Rules of the Game (1939)
"La règle du jeu" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  8 April 1950 (USA)
8.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 17,159 users  
Reviews: 84 user | 92 critic

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)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Exclusive Trailer

View the Foxcatcher Exclusive trailer with Steve Carell and Channing Tatum


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 28 Mar 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 06 Jul 2011
 
a list of 22 titles
created 14 May 2012
 
list image
a list of 31 titles
created 25 Dec 2012
 
a list of 38 titles
created 29 Jan 2013
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Rules of the Game (1939)

The Rules of the Game (1939) on IMDb 8.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Rules of the Game.

User Polls

1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

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: Jean Renoir
Stars: Jean Gabin, Dita Parlo, Pierre Fresnay
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
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
L'Atalante (1934)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When Juliette marries Jean, she comes to live with him as he captains a river barge. Besides the two of them, are a cabin boy and the strange old second mate Pere Jules. Soon bored by life ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Vigo
Stars: Dita Parlo, Jean Dasté, Michel Simon
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
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
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A chronicle of the trial of Jeanne d'Arc on charges of heresy, and the efforts of her ecclesiastical jurists to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Maria Falconetti, Eugene Silvain, André Berley
Sunrise (1927)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A married farmer falls under the spell of a slatternly woman from the city, who tries to convince him to drown his wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston
Breathless (1960)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young car thief kills a policeman and tries to persuade a girl to hide in Italy with him.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger
L'Avventura (1960)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A woman disappears during a Mediterranean boating trip. But during the search, her lover and her best friend become attracted to each other.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Gabriele Ferzetti, Monica Vitti, Lea Massari
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
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A man travels around a city with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling invention.

Director: Dziga Vertov
Stars: Mikhail Kaufman
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nora Gregor ...
Christine de la Cheyniest (as Nora Grégor)
Paulette Dubost ...
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)
...
Julien Carette ...
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
Edit

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

Plot Keywords:

servant | party | love | flight | secret | See more »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite now being considered by historians to be one of the best films ever made, the picture almost became a lost art. Claiming that it was bad for the morale of the country (due to impending war), the French government banned the film about a month after its original release. When Germany took over France the following year, it was banned by the Nazi party as well, who also burnt many of the prints. Allied planes then accidentally destroyed the original negatives. It was thought to be a lost picture. In 1956, some followers of director Jean Renoir found enough pieces of the film scattered throughout France to reconstitute it with Renoir's help. Renoir claimed only one minor scene from the original cut was missing. See more »

Goofs

When you first see Christine and Lissette, there is a man visible in Christine's dressing-table mirror. 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 Mr. Jealousy (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

A Barbizon
(uncredited)
Written by Vincent Scotto
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Rules of Cinematic Snobbery
16 July 2005 | by (Scotland) – See all my reviews

Every now and then, a firefight breaks out on one of the boards about this film. Amid the pomposity of the latest, DFC-2 thoughtfully wrote: "This is one film, perhaps because of its director and precarious early history, that has taken on a halo and the requisite critical support to nullify any criticism. The only question is: Is it truly that much better or different or has hyperbole and elaborate rationalisation been canonised as truth?" Which is the real heart of the issue when it comes to why I found myself taking against this film so violently.

For many people it's not enough to like the film - the dissenters have to be proved wrong. Objective opinion isn't allowed. Only acceptance of a proscribed opinion is acceptable. Anything less is a fault not of the film or a difference in personal taste but of the character of the viewer. I was involved in one dispute over on European Film about this a couple of years ago, dismissed as one of the 'army of knuckle-dragging Nantherthal British morons' that poster Paul Panzer was so fond of racially berating because it was impossible for him to accept anyone else's opinion of the film as being as valid as his own. The reason for the anti-British sentiments was, I think, because it had just been reissued in the UK and done very, very badly at the box-office. Unlike other posters, he didn't claim my fellow soldiers were unable to understand it but that we had not seen it at all because no-one who saw it could not like it.

I recently posted on a thread about overrated films, and listed this as one of the two worst films I've ever seen (BREATHLESS was the other, but that's another story). I just thought it was a bad film, plain and simple, more CARRY ON UP THE Château than high art. There are hundreds of worse films, but unlike RULES, no-one is claiming THE WINTER WARRIOR or Timbo Hines' WAR OF THE WORLDS are all-time greats, so the fall from expectation to reality isn't so hard. Thing is, would I have had such a low opinion of the film if it weren't for the following factors?

1. The film's reputation as one of the five greatest films of all time. I've never found any reason to agree with this. It just creates a gulf of disappointment when it just turns out to be a silly bedtime farce. I think LA GRAND ILLUSION suffers from the same problem, although its a much better film, BTW. It's as over-hyped as any summer blockbuster popcorn flick.

2. The arrogance of many of its defenders. Now I DON'T mean all the posters here who like the film. Some of them have been very reasonable about it, some do see that people have their reasons for disliking it. But there's still the stink that this is a film you HAVE to like to be taken seriously.

3. The insecurity of many of its defenders. Again, this does not apply to all the posters here. But there is a desperate need to cling to the supremacy of one set opinion as a mark of, to paraphrase CFK, being the 'right kind of person/film buff.' The phrase Emperor's New Clothes ring any bells?

4. Snobbery towards the initial audience. The whole thing about audiences of the day 'getting it wrong' or not understanding the film. Who says they didn't? Maybe they understood it too well, and THAT's why it flopped? Maybe they too found it's artificiality boring, it's acting bad, it's plot plain silly.

5. Reading too much into the history. We keep on getting parallels to Nazi Germany and the assumption it's a comment on fascism and indifference. I don't buy that for one second. Schumacher isn't some proto-Nazi. He's a very French figure of ridicule. He's not even German but one of those Alsatian Franco-Germans whose nationality changes with the borders after each new war. What he represents is the kind of old fashioned moral puritanism that later found its self-flagellating expression in the Vichy government and its moral renewal/hypocrisy. He's not a prophecy but a reflection of a state of mind the French flit to and fro between over the years as the wind changes direction. You'll find the same thing in America with the Moral Majority.

This is a film that needs to be seen with low expectations and an open mind. The more people insist on its undeniable greatness, the worse it looks, the more it disappoints.

Bottom line, to me the film is just another country house sex comedy. It's just the accident of history that has seen its importance blown out of all proportion as people try to explain away its failure and create a myth that the film cannot live up to for many people. And a lot of people on that long-forgotten firefight disliked the film just as a lot liked it. It divides opinions, which is one thing in its favour. But I have found that some of the people it appeals to are the very kind of narrow-minded self-important snobs obsessed with invisible rules that the film takes the p*ss out of so amateurishly. The best joke in the film is that it appeals to EXACTLY the kind of people it is attacking!


32 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Who broke the rules and what was the game? thatweirdguy_44
Is this film overrated? MovieMan0283
Hunting scenes Dario_Uruguay
Who would rate this a 1 ? wmdsforsale
No. 3 Film Of All Time fellowmanuk
100 Essential Films monkeeking
Discuss The Rules of the Game (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?