Theatrical Release Date: TBC
Home Ent. Release Date: 12 Nov 2006
Jean Renoir’s LA GRANDE ILLUSION is a poetic and poignant meditation on class, the nature of war and the death of the old European order. Aristocratic Captain de Boeldieu (Pierre Fresnay), mechanic Lieutenant Marechal (Jean Gabin) and wealthy Jewish banker Rosenthal (Marcel Dalio) are all thrown together, despite their vastly different backgrounds, as prisoners of the Germans in World War I. Separated by a successful escape, they are recaptured and reunited in an imposing fortress commanded by German aristocrat Van Rauffenstein (Erich Von Stroheim). Boeldieu and Rauffenstein strike up a friendship that reflects their belonging to a cultural and social elite that they both know is on the way out. However this rapport soon confuses loyalties and threatens Boeldieu’s allegiances to the others with tragic consequences. Nominated for Best Picture in 1939 and winner of a Special Prize at Venice LA GRANDE ILLUSION is released newly restored.