- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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What a Lovefest!
- disinterested spectator
Though set in the middle of World War I, yet this movie shows everyone getting along fabulously. A German and French officer regard their class as more important than their nationality, the German being very sad when he has to shoot the Frenchman. A Christian and a Jewish officer become pals and celebrate Christmas together, at a time when anti-Semitism was quite common. A German widow protects two French officers who have escaped, falling in love with one of them. They plan to get married after the war. When the two escapees make it over the Swiss border just as the Germans arrive, the Germans are relieved that they do not have to shoot them. In the face of all this brotherhood of man stuff, we are forced to conclude that the whole war is just some big misunderstanding. I guess the title of this movie refers to the illusion that war is good for something. But one cannot help but think that the real grand illusion is the notion that an antiwar movie will ever keep men from slaughtering each other.
Above Many Others
With its great heart, humanity and compassion, the Grand Illusion remains at the very peak of movie perfection. How close all humans are by nature and habit, and yet we find the reasons to make war and kill each other, or conversley to self-sacrifice to save each other. Has anything changed since this great story was filmed? What a talent Jean Renoir was! As talented a moviemaker as his father was a painter, in my opinion. People talk of the great movies of Golden Age Hollywood in the 1930s- 1940s, and they were grand indeed. But this one, for me, has them all beat by a mile. A real cinema treasure from a deservedly legendary director.
- Holden Powell
This is a great movie it is perfect. I recommend who is a classic movie lover to watch this movie
La Grande Illusion
- Dashiell B.
The first foreign-language film to be nominated for Best Picture is a touching anti-war film from Renoir. Three soldiers of differing social classes attempt various escape attempts from numerous POW camps. Gabin & Fresnay give great performances as two of the soldiers and von Stroheim is magnificent as their German commandant. The story is about honour found among both sides and that the soldiers understand the half-baked illusions that they have about freedom. An enduring French masterpiece. I give it a 5/5.
I recall seeing a remake of this film. I believe in the remake, the woman farmer had to explain who the two men were to the Nazi soldiers as her husband and brother-in-law. They parted ways at the end as one left for Switzerland and the other stayed behind to continue his relationship with the woman farmer as her husband. The other had also been walking in the snow toward a small community just across the border but the Nazi soldiers didn't respect the fact that he was actually in Switzerland and continued to shoot at him, killing him. Most realistic. The Nazis had no respect for the three Geneva Convention Protocols and probably wouldn't have recognized the fourth Geneva Convention as it was signed after WWII. Nazi is an acronym for the National Socialist Party of Germany. The Germans of the first world war weren't as vicious. The film is really quite good, there is honor among soldiers, a brotherly love of sorts and humor under unspeakable circumstances. Who wouldn't love this film!?
Jean Renoir's Masterpiece
- Luis Rivera
There is no need to lavish more praise on this timeless masterpiece. Oddly enough, it's not available for sale through TCM. Can anyone out there help me get a copy?
- Mark Sutch
This movie is one of the greatest films of all times. Every aspect is perfect, and so completely moving. The performances are total embodiments- no one seems to be acting- they live their roles profoundly! Perhaps the best anti-war movie ever made. This should certainly be a TCM Essential- everyone who enjoys great films should know this movie.
Grand Illuison (1937)
An incredible masterpiece by director Jean Renoir. The cast is superb a the story is always fascinating. The character development is outstanding. The story is one of the best anti-war screenplays ever. Brilliant.
Sad, profound and heartwarming
- Oliver Cutshaw
Wonderful film. A classic that truly is a classic and not merely a film that won a few awards and is quickly forgotten or an essential that is essentially pop entertainment with a famous star. Marvelous performances. Much like the Bridge on the River Kwai it both condemns war and yet praises bravery, resillence, and intelligence in a manner that never seems too preachy.
I loved this film. The script, the acting, the cinematography, the direction are all fantastic. Even though there is a lot of exposition, you are always intrigued by what is going to happen and are left predicting the outcome to the very end. Perfect for its time and ahead of its time, "Grand Illusion" is the ultimate timeless classic movie.