La Grande illusion (Grand Illusion)
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La Grande illusion (Grand Illusion)
For its 75th Anniversary, Rialto Pictures presents a stunning 4K restoration of GRAND ILLUSION, Jean Renoir's powerful and eloquent anti-war film set during World War I. Aristocratic Captain de Boeldieu and his mechanic, Lieutenant Maréchal are shot down by Captain von Rauffenstein, who treats them with customary officers' hospitality. The two downed pilots are then sent to a German POW camp, where they quickly join a group of prisoners who have concocted an elaborate escape plan. Their plot is foiled, however, as they are transferred to a new camp, the formidable Wintersborn fortress,… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's among the most understated anti-war films ever made, effortlessly humanistic but far too subtle to indulge in preaching."
‑ Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News
"It's still one of the key humanist expressions to be found in movies: sad, funny, exalting, and glorious."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Renoir, who invokes so skillfully these terrifying images of disintegration, offers in contrast only the old ideal of man's brotherhood, and his film does not tell us whether it is illusion or reality."
‑ Richard Griffith, The Nation
"Like Universal's Oscar winner 'All Quiet on the Western Front' (1930), 'La Grande Illusion' was banned in Germany by Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels. See it and sing 'La Marseillaise.'"
‑ James Verniere, Boston Herald
"Its very simplicity of utterance gives it a purity that makes other films that try to express similar sentiments feel forced and obvious."
‑ Frank Swietek, One Guy's Opinion
"A model of simplicity and grace, with emotional effects that move you when you least expect it, the kind of great film that only a master can pull off."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"It's an excellent film, with Renoir's usual looping line and deft shifts of tone, though today the balance of critical opinion has shifted in favor of the greater darkness and filigree of The Rules of the Game."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Back in 1952, both Orson Welles and David Lean cited the movie as one of their 10 all-time favorite films. Still, not everyone was a fan: Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's rat-faced Minister of Propaganda, declared it "Cinematic Public Enemy No. 1.""
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"See it and you may begin to appreciate the sorts of standards for greatness that the cinema is capable of setting."
‑ Shawn Levy, Oregonian
"Renoir's 1937 anti-war masterpiece created a new genre, the POW movie, and with his 1939 La Règle du jeu constitutes a diptych of unparalleled excellence."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"Funny, heart-wrenching, nail-biting, caustic and profound, touting the futility of armed combat while turning imprisonment and escape into a microcosm for society's aspirations and contradictions."
‑ Stephen Garrett, Time Out New York
"An artistically masterful feature, the picture breathes the intimate life of warriors on both sides during the [First] World War."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"often contrasted to All Quiet on the Western Front which has a similar message but told with a very different perspective"
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"a monumental humanist work"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"A timeless classic of acting and filmmaking genius that uses the artificiality of war to explore the very construct of society, and is a classic must-see."
‑ Lisa Giles-Keddie,
More reviews for La Grande illusion (Grand Illusion) on Rotten Tomatoes