Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Get 12 issues from just £25
Must-Have Movie Collectibles
Bid on some classic memorabilia
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
PG
Cast
Pierre Fresnay
Erich von Stroheim
Jean Gabin
Julien Carette.
Directors
Jean Renoir.
Screenwriters
Jean Renoir
Charles Spaak.
Running Time
110 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Blind
4 Star Empire Rating
A Second Chance
2 Star Empire Rating
Dreamcatcher
4 Star Empire Rating
High Tide
3 Star Empire Rating
My Name Is Salt
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke Of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Whiplash
5 Star Empire Rating
EMPIRE ESSAY: When Harry Met Sally
5 Star Empire Rating

La Grande Illusion
Jean Renoir's humanist masterpiece


submit to reddit


Plot
Two French officers in a POW camp during World War I befriend a Jew and begin to hatch an escape plan from the supposed impenetrable fort. The three are separated with the two Frenchmen arriving at a fort months later only to find their friend there already.


Review
La Grande Illusion
A profound examination of the nature of war, with a strong pacifist — but not appeasing — streak. In 1916, commandant Von Stroheim runs a supposedly escape-proof German POW camp and comes to respect one of his charges, aristocratic French officer Fresnay. They share a doomed vision of honourable war that the carnage of World War One has rendered hideously obsolete, and a tragic escape attempt brings the truth home to them both.

With a letter-perfect performance from Von Stroheim, and a potent examination of the differences of class and attitude among the prisoners and the guards, this is less hectoring than most anti-war films, but nevertheless makes a lasting statement.


Verdict
A moving and inspiring story of soldiers stuck in a POW camp, with stunning direction from Renoir, getting performances from Fresnay and von Stonheim in particular. that were well overlooked come Oscar time.


Reviewed by

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for La Grande Illusion
Empire Star Rating

Watched today: tp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0028950/]La Grande Illusionean Renoir`s masterpiece is one of the best anti-war films I`ve ever seen. Inside the P.O.W. camp everybody is accepted for who he is without looking at one`s background. There even grows somewhat of a friendship between the captured French officers and the German commander (an excellent role by Erich von Stroheim). What if they`d met under different circumstances? A beautiful humanistic piece of work in wich the always exce... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 23:28, 02 June 2012 | Report This Post


Powerful Story Telling

When I took my intro to film class, I was given a list of foreign films and I had to read one from the list. I called my sister, who was a French major to ask her if she could recommend a good French film. She told be that I should try any film by Jean Renoir. This film was the only one of his films on his list. I loved the movie, much more that Renoir's La Règle du jeu. The story is a compelling story about the harsh realities of war. The characters are people you can connect with. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by kingtutiii at 05:57, 04 April 2012 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's New Spectre Issue Covers
First look at Bond 24 in Empire's April issue

Vote For The Jameson Empire Awards 2015!
Your mission is clear...

The Oscars: Who Won What?
The winners, the losers, the dresses, the suits...

The Empire Podcast Oscars 2015 Special
The team's take on the 87th Academy Awards

Sleeping Beauties: The Story Behind 12 Of Cinema's Unlikeliest Hits
They came, they saw, they surprisingly conquered

Writer / Director Dan Gilroy Reveals 8 Nightcrawler Secrets
On Jake Gyllenhaal's hand-slicing mirror smash and more...

Robert Downey Jr. On Age Of Ultron
Tomorrow: Mark Ruffalo talks Bruce Banner...

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)