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New quad for the 75th birthday release

13 March 2012  |  Written by Phil de Semlyen  

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This year marks the 75th anniversary of Jean Renoir's other great masterpiece, La Grande Ilusion. What better way to celebrate than to watch it again? Good question, glad you asked. The answer is by gazing at this newly-released and really rather delightful* quad poster for the film.

The bird, of course, is emblematic of peace and innocence, two commodites lost in the Great War setting of Renoir's classic. The director had experienced the conflict's carnage first-hand as a reconnaissance pilot and channelled his views on the war into a cri de coeur for empathy and understanding between men and nations.

Renoir cast one of his great heroes, Erich von Stroheim, as the German officer who, while ostensibly his captor, finds common ground with French POW Pierre Fresnay. The German and French aristocrats are aware that their time has past and that the future belongs to working-class men like Lieutenant Maréchal (Jean Gabin) and the newly wealthy like Jewish landowner Rosenthal (Marcel Dalio).

It's truly a masterpiece - yes, even better than Escape To Victory - and it's back in cinemas from April 6, prior to a DVD and Blu-ray release on April 23. For more on La Grande Illusion get hold of the May issue of Empire, onsale from March 29.

* Okay, it's not as delightful if you happen to be a dove. If you are, apologies, and congratulations on operating a computer.


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