Grand Illusion (Blu-ray)

A Great Drama of Human Emotions
45K ratings
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Format:  Blu-ray
item number:  36QA7
on most orders of $75+
Brand New

Blu-ray Disc Features:

  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 1 hours, 53 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Released: July 31, 2012
  • Originally Released: 1937
  • Label: Lions Gate
  • Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
  • Note: "La Grande Illusion: Success, Controversy" by Olivier Curchod, Cinema Expert and Jean Renoir Specialist
    • "The Original Negative" by Natacha Laurent
    • "La Grande Illusion" by Ginette Vincendeau, Cinema Professor and film critic
    • John Truby film presentation
    • Trailers from 1937 and 1958
    • Restoring La Grande Illusion
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.37
  • Audio:
    • DTS HD Master Audio - French, German
    • Subtitles - English, German

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring &
Performer: , , &
Directed by
Screenwriting by &
Produced by &

Entertainment Reviews:

Certified Fresh97%

Total Count: 66


User Ratings: 11,652
The greatest World War I movie ever made (and there were lots of good ones)... Full Review
San Francisco Chronicle
Nov 3, 2018
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. Full Review
The Nation
Jan 18, 2013
Rating: 5/5 -- The great illusion is that these men of the officer class are somehow different from the masses who suffered the bloodiest of wars. Renoir proves that they are not. Full Review
London Evening Standard
Apr 6, 2012
[An] anti-war classic....As in so much of Renoir's work, it's the humanism that resonates most strongly.
Sight and Sound
Jan 1, 2007
Rating: 4/4 -- 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." Full Review
Creative Loafing
Sep 14, 2012
In '38: a New York Film Critics best-direction citation to Jean Renoir and a best-picture Oscar nomination.
USA Today
Feb 15, 2005
Rating: A -- 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.' Full Review
Boston Herald
Aug 10, 2012

Product Description:

Calling on his own experiences as an aviator in WWI as well as those of his comrades, Jean Renoir's antiwar masterpiece bids farewell to the class constrictions of European society and calls for the unity of humankind across class and national boundaries. Set in the German prison camps of WWI, the film stars Jean Gabin as Marechal, and Marcel Dalio as Rosenthal. Like the charming aristocrat de Boldieu (Pierre Fresnay), these two French aviators were shot down and now spend most of their time escaping from German prison camps before inevitably being recaptured. Between escapes, they do what they can to amuse themselves, which includes running a talent show, but after a tunnel they've dug is discovered, the three are sent to Wintersborn, a forbidding fortress of a prison, which is commanded by former ace pilot von Rauffenstein (Erich von Stroheim). The humane commandant practices noblesse oblige toward de Boldieu, hoping for an alliance across national lines. But he comes to learn that this phrase has a different meaning for the Frenchman. One of the great films of all time, GRAND ILLUSION perhaps most purely embodies director Jean Renoir's characterstic humanism, manifested less here in camera technique than an instinctive ability to educe truthful performances from his cast.

Plot Synopsis:

Jean Renoir's brilliant farewell to Europe's ancient regime, GRAND ILLUSION, set during WWI, stars Jean Gabin as Marechal and Marcel Dalio as Rosenthal, French prisoners of war who constantly escape from prison only to be recaptured. Along with the gracious aristocrat de Boldieu (Pierre Fresnay), they're moved to the fortresslike Wintersborn prison, from which no one has escaped. The commandant of the prison is the ace German pilot von Rauffenstein (Erich von Stroheim), now grounded by injury. Despite humane treatment, the Frenchmen plan to escape once again.


Production Notes:

  • Theatrical release: June 1937.
  • The film was shot in Colmar, Neuf-Brisach, and Haut Koenigsberg.
  • Orson Welles once said, "If I had to save only one film in the world, it would be GRAND ILLUSION."
  • LA GRANDE ILLUSION won an award at the Venice Film Festival as well as the New York Film Critics Award for Best Foreign Film in 1938. (This was the first time such an award was given by the critics.) Its pacifist views, however, were none too popular with the emerging fascist governments of Germany and Italy, who banned the film.

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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 20,362
  • UPC: 012236114093
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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