The Grand Illusion
La grande illusion, French war drama, black-and-white, 1937, by Jean Renoir, Language: French, Subtitles: English, Hungarian, 113'
Directed by Jean Renoir
Screenplay by Charles Spaak, Jean Renoir
Director of photography: Christian Matras
Music by Joseph Kosma
Cast: Jean Gabin, Dita Parlo, Pierre Fresnay, Erich von Stroheim, Julien Carette, Georges Péclet
Production: Réalisations d'Art Cinématographique
Jean Renoir, one of France’s greatest cinematographers, was the son of one of France’s greatest painters: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. La Grande Illusion was included in the so-called Brussels 12, that is, in 1958 it was voted one of the best films ever made. When it wasshot, there were already fears of another war breaking out, but there will still hopes that the strength of solidarity would prevail and that it was still possible to fight off the cruelideologies. Taking place in a German POW camp, the fundamentally and primarily humanistic story is told by Renoir through images new to filming at the time. His scenescarry a particular depth: other than the sharp foreground, he also pays attention to what happens in the background. The space of his scenes are broader than those of any other director before him. And there are few roles more memorable than Rittmeister von Rauffenstein played by Erich von Stroheim. The soundtrack for this outstanding and uplifting film was written by József Kozma, born in Budapest and was the composer ofFrench chansons.