During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from.
In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre.
Sergei M. Eisenstein
A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
On the brink of WWII, the record-breaking aviator, André Jurieux, safely lands at a small airport crammed with reporters, only to come face to face with his worst fear: the object of his desire, Christine--a blonde noblewoman and wife of the affluent Marquis de la Cheyniest, Robert--is not there to greet him. Intent on winning her back, André accepts his friend Octave's invitation for a lavish hunting weekend at the aristocrat's palatial country estate at La Coliniere, among hand-picked guests and the mansion's servants; however, intrigue, rivalries, and human weaknesses threaten to expose both royalty and paupers alike. Who will breach the unwritten rules of the game?Written by
Despite now being considered by historians to be one of the best films ever made, the picture almost became a lost art. Claiming that it was bad for the morale of the country (due to impending war), the French government banned the film about a month after its original release. When Germany took over France the following year, it was banned by the Nazi party as well, who also burnt many of the prints. Allied planes then accidentally destroyed the original negatives. It was thought to be a lost picture. In 1956, some followers of director Jean Renoir found enough pieces of the film scattered throughout France to reconstitute it with Renoir's help. Renoir claimed only one minor scene from the original cut was missing. See more »
(around 24 min) When Schumacher and the under-gamekeepers find the cat in the rabbit trap, they complain about it. They release it and the cat runs away to their right. Schumacher immediately turns about 75 degrees to his left and shoots into the far distance (his gun is level). From the characters' dialogue, he obviously "killed it" (!). See more »
Robert de la Cheyniest:
Know what our little athletic display reminded me of? I sometimes read articles in the papers about some Italian roadwork trying to seduce a Polish laborer's wife. It ends in a stabbing. I never believed such things happened. But they do!
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Film historians Jean Gaborit and Jacques Durand salvaged excised and unused footage and created a new longer version, presented at the 1959 Venice Film Festival. Where the original theatrical version was 91 minutes long, the new 1959 version was 106 minutes long, over fifteen minutes longer than the original cut. See more »
This is a film, like many other good films, that must be seen several times to be appreciated. The complexity and symmetry of the many plot lines become more evident on each viewing, similar to Smiles of a Summer Night, which it resembles in some ways. There are some great characters. Marcel Dalio (the Casablanca croupier) as the Count is superb in his childlike qualities, while scrupulously adhering to the rules of society and good manners. Jean Renoir, the director, who also has a key role as Octave, is delightful as the friend and go-between. Others characters are all well cast with, in my opinion, one exception--the count's wife Christine played by Nora Gregor. While I like her a little better with each viewing, I don't feel she does justice to the role. Arletty would have been great, though perhaps too sophisticated for the role. Like Carne's Children of Paradise, this is a film where the characters become more and more like old friends with each viewing. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys films of the 1930s and 40s.
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