La Grande illusion (Grand Illusion)
La Grande illusion (Grand Illusion) (1938)

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… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: September 12, 1938
DVD Release Date: March 24, 1998
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Critic Score: 97% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News

It's among the most understated anti-war films ever made, effortlessly humanistic but far too subtle to indulge in preaching.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

It's still one of the key humanist expressions to be found in movies: sad, funny, exalting, and glorious.

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Josh Larsen

...highlights the absurdity of war, or possibly the absurdity of civilized behavior when war is going on just outside.

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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

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.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

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.

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Richard Griffith
The Nation

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.

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Stephen Garrett
Time Out

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.

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Variety Staff

An artistically masterful feature, the picture breathes the intimate life of warriors on both sides during the [First] World War.

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Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

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."

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Flixster Audience Score: 92% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalhães
An apparently simple yet notably complex film that uses a subtle approach to explore a gamut of humanistic themes, and Renoir avoids any sort of sentimentality,… More
Drew Smith
A powerful forefather in promoting a political ideology through narrative film, Grand Illusion is at least fifty times more sensible than Birth of a Nation in… More
Bathsheba Monk
This movie expertly depicts class warfare--no, it's not a new thing, it's been around forever competing with nationalism. As a college student in… More
Mark Hobin
The film is consistently ranked as one of the brightest stars in the cinematic firmament. It's a notoriety that unfortunately detracts from a modern… More
Lucas Martins
Experiência cinematografica cinco estrelas. Um filme que quase desapareceu da história do cinema mundial.
Reid Volk
I feel like I will be killed for not giving it 5 stars. The acting is unstoppable and I understand the message about a new social order coming to uproot the… More