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Jean Renoir's antiwar masterpiece returns in a stunning new digital restoration.
New digital restoration!
"One of the true masterpieces of the screen" (Pauline Kael), presented in a stunning new digital restoration, La Grande Illusion vies with The Rules of the Game as Renoir's most important and beloved film. Following a group of French prisoners and their German captors during the First World War, La Grande Illusion uses the framework of the prison escape story to create a complex portrait of the demise of an old order, the European aristocracy blinded by the "grand illusion" of its immunity from change. Pierre Fresnay plays the urbane French officer who, through his aristocratic lineage, feels more in common with the German prison commandant (Erich von Stroheim, ramrod stiff in neck brace and monocle) who holds him captive than with his compatriots from the lower classes — represented by Jean Gabin as the burly mechanic Maréchal, exemplar of the new European order in which the working class supersedes the decadent nobility. "It's still the key humanist expression to be found in movies: sad, funny, exalting, and glorious" (Jonathan Rosenbaum); "One of the fifty greatest films in the history of cinema" (Time Out Film Guide).