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The Rules of the Game (1939)

La règle du jeu (original title)
Not Rated | | 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:

Jean Renoir

Writers:

Jean Renoir (scenario & dialogue), Carl Koch (collaborator) (as Koch)
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Cast

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

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 Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | German | English

Release Date:

8 April 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Rules of the Game See more »

Filming Locations:

Aubigny-sur-Nère, Cher, France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

FRF 5,500,500 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the film opened in 1939, initial reception of it was so bad that one viewer lit a newspaper and tried to burn the theater that it was playing in. There were even threats to other theaters. See more »

Goofs

(around 24 min) When Schumacher and the under-gamekeepers find the cat in the rabbit trap, they complain about it. They release it and the cat runs away to their right. Schumacher immediately turns about 75 degrees to his left and shoots into the far distance (his gun is level). From the characters' dialogue, he obviously "killed it" (!). See more »

Quotes

Jackie, nièce de Christine: I can't bear it!
Lisette, sa camériste: Be strong, Miss Jackie. An educated young lady like you has to put on a brave face.
Christine de la Cheyniest: People are watching.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Midnight Movie Review: Cannibal Holocaust (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Cors de chasse (Huntng Horns)
(uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Humblingly wonderful
18 October 2000 | by mmmopensSee 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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