La Grande illusion (Grand Illusion) Reviews

  • Dec 09, 2020

    This is a lyrical and deeply humane story of prisoners, their captors and their escape; of the end of the old European order and its aristocracy; of the deep goodness inside individuals; and in spite of that goodness, of the madness of our societies. It is a film clearly against war and nationalism, and Renoir paints a loving picture of both aristocrats and commoners. Eric von Stroheim's performance is indelible, unforgettable.

    This is a lyrical and deeply humane story of prisoners, their captors and their escape; of the end of the old European order and its aristocracy; of the deep goodness inside individuals; and in spite of that goodness, of the madness of our societies. It is a film clearly against war and nationalism, and Renoir paints a loving picture of both aristocrats and commoners. Eric von Stroheim's performance is indelible, unforgettable.

  • Nov 29, 2020

    Weird movie. It was just ok.

    Weird movie. It was just ok.

  • Oct 27, 2020

    A Man Escaped, this is not. The actual detention and escape attempts are clearly secondary to Renoir's attempts to present themes regarding the dynamic social changes of the early 20th century, underlying humanity among combatants in a more general sense, and to draw parallels to the current events that would culminate in World War II (even presciently touching on antisemitism), rather than to subjectively portray the Great War. The commentaries comparing class and nationalism are very interesting, presenting the social transition in which those of shared aristocratic status maintained a closer relationship in the prewar era than those of shared nationality, a balance that was enitrely shaken in the tumult of the post-Victorian Era. While certainly thematically daring, especially as a French production in the shadow of the emerging Nazi state, there are a few clear technical weaknesses with the film, particularly in editing; there are some unusual cuts, often characters rapidly undergo what should be introspective moments with only a few seconds of actual runtime. Perhaps the most obvious of these occurs in the very beginning of the film, in which Fresnay's Boëldieu and Gabin's Maréchal go from talking about a reconaissance mission in one scene to an immediate hard cut in which their flight and capture are brielfy recounted from an external perspective and the two pilots immediately appear in enemy captivity; even if avoiding any depictions of actual combat plays into the thematic explroation of the futility of war, it feels very rushed and inorganic. Still, an important antiwar film made all the more remarkable by its timing and circumstances. (4/5)

    A Man Escaped, this is not. The actual detention and escape attempts are clearly secondary to Renoir's attempts to present themes regarding the dynamic social changes of the early 20th century, underlying humanity among combatants in a more general sense, and to draw parallels to the current events that would culminate in World War II (even presciently touching on antisemitism), rather than to subjectively portray the Great War. The commentaries comparing class and nationalism are very interesting, presenting the social transition in which those of shared aristocratic status maintained a closer relationship in the prewar era than those of shared nationality, a balance that was enitrely shaken in the tumult of the post-Victorian Era. While certainly thematically daring, especially as a French production in the shadow of the emerging Nazi state, there are a few clear technical weaknesses with the film, particularly in editing; there are some unusual cuts, often characters rapidly undergo what should be introspective moments with only a few seconds of actual runtime. Perhaps the most obvious of these occurs in the very beginning of the film, in which Fresnay's Boëldieu and Gabin's Maréchal go from talking about a reconaissance mission in one scene to an immediate hard cut in which their flight and capture are brielfy recounted from an external perspective and the two pilots immediately appear in enemy captivity; even if avoiding any depictions of actual combat plays into the thematic explroation of the futility of war, it feels very rushed and inorganic. Still, an important antiwar film made all the more remarkable by its timing and circumstances. (4/5)

  • Oct 08, 2020

    A few diff stories intertwine in this film. This is an old movie that doesn't seem old which is rare and shows it aged well surprisingly compared to most. It is directed more like todays films with more realism and less cheese/pomp and circumstance. One of my fav plot lines is the German high-ranking official friendship with the French high-ranking soldier who he eventually must kill. This is obvi an anti-war movie and I believe it is set in WW1. Kinda ends suddenly, but film carries ur interest thru out with humor and changing events/settings. You can see its influence in movies like the Great Escape.

    A few diff stories intertwine in this film. This is an old movie that doesn't seem old which is rare and shows it aged well surprisingly compared to most. It is directed more like todays films with more realism and less cheese/pomp and circumstance. One of my fav plot lines is the German high-ranking official friendship with the French high-ranking soldier who he eventually must kill. This is obvi an anti-war movie and I believe it is set in WW1. Kinda ends suddenly, but film carries ur interest thru out with humor and changing events/settings. You can see its influence in movies like the Great Escape.

  • Aug 15, 2020

    Nature doesn't recognize borders. I really appreciated the humanistic touch Renoir employs here and his choice to make a war film that doesn't include any battlefield scenes. This film instead focuses on the similarities between soldiers of all nations and how understanding this commonality makes war seem more and more unnecessary.

    Nature doesn't recognize borders. I really appreciated the humanistic touch Renoir employs here and his choice to make a war film that doesn't include any battlefield scenes. This film instead focuses on the similarities between soldiers of all nations and how understanding this commonality makes war seem more and more unnecessary.

  • Jul 23, 2020

    The acting was better than the story.

    The acting was better than the story.

  • Jan 02, 2020

    One of the greatest films ever made. Every moment is alive, the cinematography geared to the information in the scene. The direction and the performances go beyond acting- it is life itself. I am dumb-struck by the power of this film every time that I see it.

    One of the greatest films ever made. Every moment is alive, the cinematography geared to the information in the scene. The direction and the performances go beyond acting- it is life itself. I am dumb-struck by the power of this film every time that I see it.

  • Dec 27, 2019

    Must see film by a great director.

    Must see film by a great director.

  • Dec 04, 2019

    The Grand Illusion (1937) Director Jean Renoir The Grand Illusion is an amazing film that shows a side of war that is rarely shown, but is very needed in more films as a whole. Instead of showing us action and heroes take on droves of enemies, this world war film gives us a perspective of captured men. Their interactions together and with their prison guards shows us the interesting human side of war and how strange relationships formed during these times. The acting in this film is amazing. The interaction between the characters that Jean Gabin and Marcel Dalio is humanizing and realistic. They development of their relationship to turn from strangers to close friends is charming and done subtly so that you don't quite realize how close they have gotten until the end. Along with these fine actors is Dita Parlo who plays Elsa. She gives us one of the only close look on a german in the film and she kills the screen time she is given. How she portrays the love of her country but at the same time respects the two fleeing soldiers in her home is phenomenal and in a way that we believe in her feelings even though they would seem to contrast one another. An impossible acting task done excellently by Dita Parlo. These acting jobs are a great way to show of the themes of this film in class structure vs nationalism. With the relationship between Jean Gabin's character and Dita's is an excellent showcase of this class structure vs nationalism. They develop romantic interest with one another even though they are on opposite sides of the war. Gabin being french while Dita is german. This shows a battle of how when you get down deep into human relationships we can almost go against our pride of fighting for our country for companionship with those in a class structure similar to our own. I say almost as this connection proves to be not as strong as Gabins nationalism as he eventually leaves Dita to escape germany and fight in the war on frances side once again. This film visits this theme a few other times including the interaction between Boeldiue and Rauffenstein, two captains played by Pierre Fresnay and Erich von Strohiem respectfully. These develop a close friendship even though they are on opposite sides since they are both powerful men of high family. But Boeldiue doesn't choose his own class fully as he sacrifices his life to save his fellow captured soldiers. The editing and pacing of this film is phenomenal. It does feel as though the film has multiple endings but this gives off a feeling how long and energy draining a war can be. Just as you believe you are saying something else happens to take you right back into action. Whether that be a change in camps or a broken ankle this film always has some sort of obstacle, physical or mental, that Jean Gabin's character must overcome. Even the ending doesn't include Gabin in the war as he already declared that when he escapes that he'll go right back to fighting. Overall this film is remarkable and a must watch to see a different more human side of war. It is interesting how this film takes place during WWI and they speak of it as it was still the "war to end all wars". Even with that this film could be told in any war and still make sense. It is a story about friendship and adventure but told in a prison of war point of view. It has easily become one of my favorite films of all time.

    The Grand Illusion (1937) Director Jean Renoir The Grand Illusion is an amazing film that shows a side of war that is rarely shown, but is very needed in more films as a whole. Instead of showing us action and heroes take on droves of enemies, this world war film gives us a perspective of captured men. Their interactions together and with their prison guards shows us the interesting human side of war and how strange relationships formed during these times. The acting in this film is amazing. The interaction between the characters that Jean Gabin and Marcel Dalio is humanizing and realistic. They development of their relationship to turn from strangers to close friends is charming and done subtly so that you don't quite realize how close they have gotten until the end. Along with these fine actors is Dita Parlo who plays Elsa. She gives us one of the only close look on a german in the film and she kills the screen time she is given. How she portrays the love of her country but at the same time respects the two fleeing soldiers in her home is phenomenal and in a way that we believe in her feelings even though they would seem to contrast one another. An impossible acting task done excellently by Dita Parlo. These acting jobs are a great way to show of the themes of this film in class structure vs nationalism. With the relationship between Jean Gabin's character and Dita's is an excellent showcase of this class structure vs nationalism. They develop romantic interest with one another even though they are on opposite sides of the war. Gabin being french while Dita is german. This shows a battle of how when you get down deep into human relationships we can almost go against our pride of fighting for our country for companionship with those in a class structure similar to our own. I say almost as this connection proves to be not as strong as Gabins nationalism as he eventually leaves Dita to escape germany and fight in the war on frances side once again. This film visits this theme a few other times including the interaction between Boeldiue and Rauffenstein, two captains played by Pierre Fresnay and Erich von Strohiem respectfully. These develop a close friendship even though they are on opposite sides since they are both powerful men of high family. But Boeldiue doesn't choose his own class fully as he sacrifices his life to save his fellow captured soldiers. The editing and pacing of this film is phenomenal. It does feel as though the film has multiple endings but this gives off a feeling how long and energy draining a war can be. Just as you believe you are saying something else happens to take you right back into action. Whether that be a change in camps or a broken ankle this film always has some sort of obstacle, physical or mental, that Jean Gabin's character must overcome. Even the ending doesn't include Gabin in the war as he already declared that when he escapes that he'll go right back to fighting. Overall this film is remarkable and a must watch to see a different more human side of war. It is interesting how this film takes place during WWI and they speak of it as it was still the "war to end all wars". Even with that this film could be told in any war and still make sense. It is a story about friendship and adventure but told in a prison of war point of view. It has easily become one of my favorite films of all time.

  • Dec 03, 2019

    The Grand Illusion had a very interesting story to it. It was a good movie because just when you thought it was going to be done there was more to the story and it did a good job of keeping you interested. There are many parts when you think that it is going to be the end. Like when they escape it makes you think that it is ends but then it continues to them needing to hide in a woman's shed. There is also the time when need a place to stay and the woman lets them stay in her house. The movie seems like it is good to end there but then it goes on. It keeps you interested because when the movie continues and you think it is long it doesn't seem to long. It surprises you and makes you wonder what more could there be to tell. Like when they escape you think what more is there to tell us but then you learn that they are being searched for and when they need a place to hide. There is also the time when the woman finds them and lets them stay there you think that is all and then they will be on their way but then you find out that the woman and the one man fall in love. So in conclusion The Grand Illusion is a good movie because just when you thought it was going to be done there was more to the story and it did a good job of keeping you interested.

    The Grand Illusion had a very interesting story to it. It was a good movie because just when you thought it was going to be done there was more to the story and it did a good job of keeping you interested. There are many parts when you think that it is going to be the end. Like when they escape it makes you think that it is ends but then it continues to them needing to hide in a woman's shed. There is also the time when need a place to stay and the woman lets them stay in her house. The movie seems like it is good to end there but then it goes on. It keeps you interested because when the movie continues and you think it is long it doesn't seem to long. It surprises you and makes you wonder what more could there be to tell. Like when they escape you think what more is there to tell us but then you learn that they are being searched for and when they need a place to hide. There is also the time when the woman finds them and lets them stay there you think that is all and then they will be on their way but then you find out that the woman and the one man fall in love. So in conclusion The Grand Illusion is a good movie because just when you thought it was going to be done there was more to the story and it did a good job of keeping you interested.