The Rules of the Game (1950)



Critic Consensus: Its genius escaped many viewers at the time, but in retrospect, The Rules of the Game stands as one of Jean Renoir's -- and cinema's -- finest works.

Movie Info

Now often cited as one of the greatest films ever made, Jean Renoir's La Règle du jeu/Rules of the Game was not warmly received on its original release in 1939: audiences at its opening engagements in Paris were openly hostile, responding to the film with shouts of derision, and distributors cut the movie from 113 minutes to a mere 80. It was banned as morally perilous during the German occupation and the original negative was destroyed during WWII. It wasn't until 1956 that Renoir was able to … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Jean Renoir, Carl Koch, Camille François, André Zwoboda
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 20, 2004
Kino International


as Robert de la Chesnay...

as Christine de La Ches...

as André Jurieu

as Genevieve de Marrast

as Andre Jurieu

as Octave

as Schumacher

as Marceau

as Charlotte de la Plan...

as The General

as M. de Saint-Aubin

as M. La Bruyere

as Mme. La Bruyere

as Jackie

as Effeminate Guest

as The South American

as Corneille

as The Cook

as The Servant

as Kitchen Servant

as The Radio Reporter

as The English Domestic

as The Engineer from Ca...

as Berthelin, the Hunts...

as Radio Announcer, The...
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Critic Reviews for The Rules of the Game

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (14)

The word "Mozartean"... gets thrown around a little too eagerly by critics, but one movie, as almost everyone agrees, deserves this supreme benediction -- Jean Renoir's The Rules of the Game.

Full Review… | June 3, 2014
New Yorker
Top Critic

On the surface, a lace of flirtations, insinuations and rejections compose the basic plotting. But Renoir uses flashes of accelerating drama to amplify his bigger points.

Full Review… | June 3, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Jean Renoir, who directs, wrote the scenario and dialog, and takes a leading role, has made a common error: he attempts to crowd too many ideas into 80 minutes of film fare, resulting in confusion.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Top Critic

The mobile camera seems to be a member of the party, as it follows the almost balletically choreographed movements of the cast. The effect for the audience is transcendental. We are watching life at its messiest, unfolding at its most beautiful.

Full Review… | April 26, 2007
Washington Post
Top Critic

A disaster when initially released, the movie's reputation has only grown since.

Full Review… | February 16, 2007
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

There are about a dozen genuine miracles in the history of cinema, and one of them is Jean Renoir's supreme 1939 tragi-comedy The Rules of the Game.

Full Review… | December 28, 2006
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Rules of the Game


Concealing a lot of complexity in its apparently simple plot, this fabulous tragicomedy (which was almost lost in History) is a witty and smart commentary on the rules of the bourgeoisie and social relations. A classic of the French Cinema to be seen and re-seen many times.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

"The awful thing about life is this, Everyone has their reasons"

Arash Xak

Super Reviewer

Fantastic film. I hate the rich and this is a great fuck you to them. I love the style that the film was shot in as well, with wides as if watching a play unfold. There is also the rabbit hunt which is done extremely well. Well crafted film on a lot of levels. I was also impressed with the dialogue which was funny and sharp, especially considering the time it was made.

Tim Sigur

Super Reviewer

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