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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 ... André Jurieux
Gaston Modot ... Edouard Schumacher, le garde-chasse
Jean Renoir ... Octave
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

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 »

Goofs

When you first see Christine and Lissette, there is a man visible in Christine's dressing-table mirror. See more »

Quotes

Octave: The awful thing about life is this: Everybody has their reasons.
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

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Movies the Critics Got Wrong (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Valse No. 7 op. 64, 2 'Petit chien'
(uncredited)
Music by Frédéric Chopin (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Wonderful characters beautifully filmed
26 January 2004 | by gkbazaloSee all my reviews

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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