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THE GREAT ILLUSION

Director: JEAN RENOIR

FRANCE • 1937 • SUBTITLED • BLACK AND WHITE • 113 MIN.


Probably the most loved of Renoir’s films, certainly the most fêted, dealing as it does with the common bonds between men across national, class and religious barriers. In World War 1, three French soldiers—played by Pierre Fresnay, Jean Gabin and Marcel Dalio—become POWs under the monocle of a German commander memorably incarnated by Erich Von Stroheim, who as a director had been a great inspiration to Renoir. La Grande illusion won a special prize at the Venice Film Festival of 1939, only subsequently to be banned by the Nazis for its pacifist message.

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