The Grand Illusion war movie
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The Grand Illusion war movie

The Grand Illusion (1937, France)

Original / alternative title: La Grande Illusion

Categories: POW camp movies

The Grand Illusion

Director: Jean Renoir

Czas: 115 minut

Laguages: French

war movies info
2019-10-18 / 2019-10-18

During First World War the fate crosses paths of two officers, Frenchman Captain de Boeldieu and German von Rauffenstein, they meet in two different places, in different circumstances, but both try to aspire to their aristocratic morality in the times of war.

During First World War French plane is shot down by German aristocrat, Captain von Rauffenstein. Both of the French crew members, aristocratic Captain de Boeldieu and working-class Lieutenant Marechal, are taken prisoners by German forces and transported to the airbase, where von Rauffenstein greets them with great courtesy. They are both invited to lunch with German officers, during which von Rauffenstein discovers that he has mutual acquaintances with Boeldieu and the whole situation seems almost unreal - in the middle of the war two aristocrats are having a diner and exchange pleasant comments. Boeldieu and Marechal end up in prisoner of war camp, where they are mixed with French soldiers from different walks of life. After being moved from camp to camp they end up in Wintersborn, a mountain fortress, where von Rauffenstein, now Major, is in command.

Considered one of the best French movies ever The Grand Illusion is a story of two officers and aristocrats, who are very similar despite being raised in completely different circumstances, but the war changes them both. Major von Rauffenstein is still convinced that war or no war, some rules and some decorum is just basics anyone could expect from a gentleman, Boeldieu agrees with him, but with time realizes that world is not that simple anymore and they have to adapt to it. As war movie it is one of the rare opportunity to see the mentality of people that fought in World War 1 before World War 2 changed everything in people minds and souls.

Our rating


Film value

8 / 10

Realism factor

4 / 5

Adventure factor

2 / 5

Historical accuracy

2 / 5

The Grand Illusion 1937 war movie

The Grand Illusion full movie

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Creators of The Grand Illusion

Jean Renoir movies

Jean Renoir


Jean Renoir movies

Jean Renoir


Charles Spaak movies

Charles Spaak


Cast of The Grand Illusion

Jean Gabin movies jean-gabin

Jean Gabin

as Lieutenant Marechal

Erich von Stroheim movies erich-von-stroheim

Erich von Stroheim

as Major von Rauffenstein

Marcel Dalio movies marcel-dalio

Marcel Dalio

as Lieutenant Rosenthal

Pierre Fresnay movies pierre-fresnay

Pierre Fresnay

as Captain de Boeldieu

Dita Parlo movies dita-parlo

Dita Parlo

as widow

Julien Carette movies julien-carette

Julien Carette

as Cartier

Gaston Modot movies gaston-modot

Gaston Modot

as engineer

Events depicted in The Grand Illusion

World War I (1914-1918)

The Grand Illusion full war movie

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