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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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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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

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

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

Ranked number 5 non-English-speaking film in the critics' poll conducted by the BBC in 2018. See more »

Goofs

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: Whether it's to have a woman, leave her or hold on to her, first I make her laugh. That way, her guard's down and you have your way with her. Why don't give it a try?
Robert de la Cheyniest: Because it takes talent.
Marceau, le braconnier: Naturally.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Film historians Jean Gaborit and Jacques Durand salvaged excised and unused footage and created a new longer version, presented at the 1959 Venice Film Festival. Where the original theatrical version was 91 minutes long, the new 1959 version was 106 minutes long, over fifteen minutes longer than the original cut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Citizen Kane (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Dreizehn deutsche Tänze, K. 605, No. 1
(1791) (uncredited)
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conducted by Roger Desormière
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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