Grand Illusion

Grand Illusion

Jean Gabin
Director: Jean Renoir Cast: Jean Gabin
Jean Gabin
, Pierre Fresnay
Pierre Fresnay
, Erich Von Stroheim
Erich Von Stroheim
Jean Renoir

DVD (Black & White / Dolby 5.1 / Mono)

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Few movies have spoken of the folly and futility of war with the eloquence of Jean Renoir's Grand Illusion, and after releasing a special edition DVD of the film that's loaded with extras, the Criterion Collection have made the picture available in a simpler and more affordable edition. This version of Grand Illusion has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the image quality is excellent, boasting a sharp image with a wide range of grey tones taken from a fine quality print. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono, and though the fidelity isn't as impressive as the visuals, the track is quite good given the vintage of the film. The dialogue is in French, with optional English subtitles but no multiple language options. The only bonus feature is a short essay included in the accompanying booklet. This is the same disc that Criterion has made available in the Essential Art House Vol. 1 and Essential Art House: Fifty Years of Janus Films box sets, and while it's short on bells and whistles, the quality of the film itself should satisfy anyone interested in Renoir's masterpiece.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/16/1999
UPC: 0037429121924
Original Release: 1937
Rating: NR
Source: Criterion
Presentation: [B&W]
Sound: [Dolby Digital, monaural]
Time: 1:54:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jean Gabin Lieutenant Maréchal
Pierre Fresnay Capt. de Boeldieu
Erich Von Stroheim Von Rauffenstein
Marcel Dalio Rosenthal
Dita Parlo Elsa, Farm Woman
Julien Carette The Actor
Jacques Becker An English Officer
Gaston Modot The engineer
Georges Péclet A French Soldier
Claude Sainval Actor
Jean Dasté The Teacher
Sylvain Itkine Demolder

Technical Credits
Jean Renoir Director,Screenwriter
Jacques Becker Asst. Director
Raymond Blondy Production Manager
Joseph DeBretagne Sound/Sound Designer
Joseph Kosma Score Composer
Eugène Lourié Art Director,Set Decoration/Design
Christian Matras Cinematographer
Raphael Makeup
Marguerite Renoir Editor
Charles Spaak Screenwriter
Vincent Telly Songwriter
Albert Valsien Songwriter

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapters
1. Logos/Opening Credits [2:23]
2. Shot Down in Germany [5:36]
3. First Taste of Prison Camp [9:22]
4. The Tunnel [9:24]
5. Dressing Up [2:51]
6. The Sound of Marching [:39]
7. Putting On a Show [9:35]
8. Frustration at the Eleventh Hour [5:50]
9. Ending Up at Wintersborn [3:09]
10. Touring the Property [8:14]
11. Officers and Aristocrats [2:13]
12. Preparing the Escape [13:14]
13. The Magic Flute [11:45]
14. De Boeldieu a Hero [4:29]
15. Refuge at the Farm [12:56]
16. A Christmas Romance [4:10]
17. The Parting [7:22]
0. Index
1. Renoir's Background
2. Main Characters
3. Supporting Characters
4. No Man is an Island
6. Renoir's War Experiences
7. The Most Powerful Moment
8. Renoir's Mastery
8. Language as a Theme

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Grand Illusion 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This often overlooked 1930's french film by Renoir is far superior to any war film on account of its complex examination of the ''illusion'' of war. On top of that is Renoir's wonderful filming style that far surpassed any of the time period. A perfect film in every way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Renoir's classic is utterly beautiful, and actors such as the great Erich von Stroeheim give it real depth. One comment though: the meaning of the ''illusion'' referred to in the movie is open to interpretation, but Jean Renoir was referring to the fact that the aristocracy of society had false beliefs that they could rise up above the war, when, in fact, they were victims as well.
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