During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from.
In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre.
Sergei M. Eisenstein
On the brink of WWII, the record-breaking aviator, André Jurieux, safely lands at a small airport crammed with reporters, only to come face to face with his worst fear: the object of his desire, Christine--a blonde noblewoman and wife of the affluent Marquis de la Cheyniest, Robert--is not there to greet him. Intent on winning her back, André accepts his friend Octave's invitation for a lavish hunting weekend at the aristocrat's palatial country estate at La Coliniere, among hand-picked guests and the mansion's servants; however, intrigue, rivalries, and human weaknesses threaten to expose both royalty and paupers alike. Who will breach the unwritten rules of the game?Written by
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 »
When you first see Christine and Lissette, there is a man visible in Christine's dressing-table mirror. See more »
The awful thing about life is this: Everybody has their reasons.
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Originally released at 91 minutes, but quickly recut to 84 minutes after the first weekend, due to political pressure and popular outcry. Various cuts exists, ranging in length from 84 to 106 minutes. See more »
This is a film, like many other good films, that must be seen several times to be appreciated. The complexity and symmetry of the many plot lines become more evident on each viewing, similar to Smiles of a Summer Night, which it resembles in some ways. There are some great characters. Marcel Dalio (the Casablanca croupier) as the Count is superb in his childlike qualities, while scrupulously adhering to the rules of society and good manners. Jean Renoir, the director, who also has a key role as Octave, is delightful as the friend and go-between. Others characters are all well cast with, in my opinion, one exception--the count's wife Christine played by Nora Gregor. While I like her a little better with each viewing, I don't feel she does justice to the role. Arletty would have been great, though perhaps too sophisticated for the role. Like Carne's Children of Paradise, this is a film where the characters become more and more like old friends with each viewing. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys films of the 1930s and 40s.
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