IMDb > The Rules of the Game (1939)
La règle du jeu
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The Rules of the Game (1939) More at IMDbPro »La règle du jeu (original title)

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Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   16,602 votes »
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Up 1% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Jean Renoir (scenario & dialogue)
Carl Koch (collaborator)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Rules of the Game on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
8 April 1950 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win See more »
NewsDesk:
(157 articles)
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User Reviews:
A critique of French society between the wars See more (82 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
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)

Marcel Dalio ... Marquis Robert de la Cheyniest (as Dalio)
Julien Carette ... Marceau, le braconnier (as Carette)
Roland Toutain ... André Jurieux
Gaston Modot ... Edouard Schumacher, le garde-chasse

Jean Renoir ... Octave
Pierre Magnier ... Le général
Eddy Debray ... Corneille, le majordome
Pierre Nay ... Monsieur de St. Aubin
Richard Francoeur ... Monsieur La Bruyère (as Francoeur)
Léon Larive ... Le cuisinier
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nicolas Amato ... L'invité sud-américain (uncredited)
Henri Cartier-Bresson ... Le domestique anglais (uncredited)
Celestin ... Le garçon de cuisine (uncredited)
Tony Corteggiani ... Berthelin (uncredited)
Roger Forster ... L'invité efféminé (uncredited)
Camille François ... Le speaker (uncredited)
Jenny Hélia ... La servante (uncredited)
André Zwoboda ... L'ingénieur (uncredited)
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Directed by
Jean Renoir 
 
Writing credits
Jean Renoir (scenario & dialogue)

Carl Koch (collaborator) (as Koch)

Produced by
Jean Renoir .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Joseph Kosma 
 
Cinematography by
Jean-Paul Alphen  (as Alphen)
Jean Bachelet  (as Bachelet)
Jacques Lemare 
Alain Renoir 
 
Film Editing by
Marthe Huguet  (as Mme Huguet)
Marguerite Renoir  (as Marguerite)
 
Production Design by
Max Douy  (as Douy)
Eugène Lourié  (as Lourié)
 
Costume Design by
Coco Chanel  (as La Maison Chanel)
 
Makeup Department
Ralph .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Camille François .... production supervisor
Raymond Pillon .... unit manager (as Pillon)
Claude Renoir .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Henri Cartier-Bresson .... assistant director (as Henri Cartier)
André Zwoboda .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Joseph de Bretagne .... sound engineer (as De Bretagne)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Sam Levin .... still photographer
Jean Mousselle .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Roger Desormière .... conductor: Mozart and Monsigny (as Roger Desormières)
Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny .... music by (as Monsigny)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart .... music by (as Mozart)
 
Other crew
Dido Freire .... script girl (uncredited)
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"La règle du jeu" - France (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
110 min | USA:106 min (DVD version)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric)
Certification:
Australia:G | Australia:PG (VHS rating) | Finland:K-16 (original rating) | Finland:S (1953) | France:U (Visa #266) | Netherlands:9 (2009) (DVD) | South Korea:12 (2004) | UK:PG (1992) | UK:A (1946) | USA:Approved | USA:Not Rated

Did You Know?

Trivia:
After the success of La Grande Illusion (1937) and La Bête Humaine (1938), Jean Renoir and his nephew Claude helped set up their own production company, Les Nouvelles Editions Francaises. This was their first production.See more »
Goofs:
Boom mic visible: 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:
André Jurieux:Thats also part of the times, today everyone lies.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Mouchette (1967)See more »
Soundtrack:
Tout le long de la TamiseSee more »

FAQ

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44 out of 55 people found the following review useful.
A critique of French society between the wars, 6 July 2004
Author: Rave-Reviewer from United Kingdom

A weekend party assembles at the château of the Marquis de la Chesnaye. Among the guests André, an aviator, is in love with the Marquis's wife, Christine; the Marquis himself is conducting an affair with Geneviève; Octave, an old family friend, is also secretly in love with the Marquise. Meanwhile a poacher, appointed servant by the mischievous Marquis, comes to blows with the gamekeeper over the latter's flirtatious wife.

The set-up may remind one of The Shooting Party or Gosford Park, but the debt is naturally in the present film's favour. Rather, the upstairs-downstairs intrigue, the mingling of comedy with drama, and the setting prior to cataclysmic social/political change owe much to Beaumarchais's Le mariage de Figaro. Which explains the hostility of audiences and government alike on the film's release; it was cut, then banned outright, and not reconstituted until well into the 1950s.

To tap the source of the disquiet aroused by this superficially fluffy piece of bedroom farce ('Surely just the French doing what they do best?'), one must look beyond the typical observation that it was 'socially insidious because it was a clear attack on the haute-bourgeoisie, the very class who would shortly lead the troops against the Germans'. The auto-critique goes deeper than that.

Consider. The lower orders are no better than their irresponsible masters: the women are no less immoral, the men just as concerned to preserve their foreheads from cuckoldry. This is the culmination of Figaro's contract with the Count: he enjoins the latter to behave like an honest man, as befits his station; two centuries later, not only has the nobility welshed on the deal, it has brought the servant classes down with it. Renoir serves up for the French a portrait of a society which is rotten from top to bottom. 'The Rules of the Game' are: keep up appearances, and somehow the whole charade will be preserved indefinitely (barring Adolf and his Panzers, that is).

André, the aviator, the crosser of the Atlantic (distance, perspective), is the one who threatens the edifice. Being Christine's lover is not enough; she must elope with him, it must be 'honest'. If she does this she will be showing that feelings matter more than money and position. The choice is too much for her and she runs for cover with Octave, and thus sets in motion the mechanism by which everything ends in tragedy but the status quo is maintained, for now.

The working out of this theme in Renoir's hands leads to some striking juxtapositions of tone. Renoir the 'humanist', like Octave whom he plays, was a lover, and forgiver, of humanity. It was not in him to condemn without affection. In one scene the gamekeeper chases his rival through the drawing room discharging a pistol, while the guests barely look up from their cards: he is merely playing by the rules, after all. It was perhaps the coexistence of farcical sequences like this with the wanton slaughter of wildlife in the hunt scene that audiences found hard to take. Renoir himself wrote: 'During the shooting of the film I was torn between my desire to make a comedy of it and the wish to tell a tragic story. The result of this ambivalence was the film as it is.' Amen.

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Is this film overrated? MovieMan0283
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Dick Cheney, pseudo aristocrat. zhosa
Who broke the rules and what was the game? thatweirdguy_44
One question... syphon194
St. Aubin junderbr
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