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   17,433 votes »
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Up 42% 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:
Tagline:
One of the two or three greatest films ever made in France.
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:
2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
"Rules" Rules See more (84 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)

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)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

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) | Sweden:11 (DVD rating) | UK:PG (1992) | UK:A (1946) | USA:Approved | USA:Not Rated

Did You Know?

Trivia:
After the success of The Grand 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:
Marceau, le braconnier:A laughing woman is disarmed, you can do what you like.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in 2 x 50 Years of French Cinema (1995) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Dreizehn deutsche Tänze, K. 605, No. 1See more »

FAQ

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22 out of 34 people found the following review useful.
"Rules" Rules, 24 June 2004
Author: Gene Crokus from United States

One of the ways in which a film of some age can be immediately identified as great is that we do not really notice that it is old. The same elements that attract us contemporarily are as quickly noted in the landmark movies of yesteryear. So it is with `The Rules of the Game', Jean Renoir's flamboyantly provocative study of class distinction and human folly.

Long heralded as one of the great films of all time, it is of such complexity and has so much great dialogue that in fairness it should be viewed several times. There are so many complex shots and methods of capturing moments that one might discover a new item with each visit. These arrangements run the gamut of half a dozen actors criss-crossing the scope of a shot or the use of mirrors to perhaps focus our attention on something Renoir wants us to appreciate or tuck away for later rumination.

As the movie opens, Lise Elena (as the on-the-scene radio reporter) is perfect in conveying the energy and attention/attraction a record-setting Trans-Atlantic flight would have attracted at the time; the drama of the moment as pilot André Jurieux (Roland Toutain) lands amid pandemonium is caught exactly as it might occur. Renoir is giving us a hero that we almost immediately find is flawed and does not stand up to close inspection, as do none of the great political figures of that time. As the film progresses the hero Jurieux is found wanting in every regard, as it turns out.

Paulette Dubost (as the maid, Lisette) is introduced early as attendant to a key figure - Christine de la Cheyniest (played by Nora Gregor) – and is so heartbreakingly pretty even watching her eat an apple is a guilty pleasure. Christine turns out to be the hub of a wheel of fascination, deception, and unrequited love yet herself is only as exotic as her foreign background. This Mutt and Jeff pairing is nicely shown in drawing room scenes as the high-society semi-charmer is fawned over by the lovely Lisette.

The players intermingle primarily at the chateau of Christine's husband Robert (played by Dalio) and what unfolds is a tale that documents the excesses of both classes. We might say we see a series of interpersonal clashes amidst clueless-in-love slackers with the occasional agenda-wielding guest thrown in; but all this is recorded with just the right touch of realism. So we find that Christine's heart may well lie with the adoring Jurieux, that Lisette is not exactly pining for her gamekeeper husband Schumacher, Robert's lover is not sure of her need for him (or he of his feelings for her) and throughout poor Octave remains a stolid yet curiously uncommitted friend to all.

The only aspect of the film that does not come across well is the sometimes overly hammy acting of some of the players. But with the exception of Renoir himself (playing Octave) this over-the-topness comes in fits and starts, never overwhelming us at all. Renoir's Octave could have been played by Jackie Gleason to great effect.

Very noticeable to current viewers is the great similarity of the more recent `Gosford Park' to this 1939 Jean Renoir film. While Robert Altman's film focuses on class differences so piquantly, `Rules' is actually more sublime. But that hanky-panky and its inevitably hurtful consequence knows no class – despite `Rules' – could not be more fascinating than the depiction given it by Renoir in this film.

Rating: Four Stars.

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