Wednesday, September 25, 2013

OLDIE GOLDIES: The Grand Illusion (1937)

This week's Oldie Goldies pick is a quintessential prison drama - Jean Renoir's "The Grand Illusion". Recounting the World War I tale of French prisoners of war and their risky escape, it almost seems ahead of its time. Maybe I'm wrong, but many contemporary films seem to hint towards this benchmark film, from "The Pianist" to "The Shawshank Redemption". This is one of the few foreign language films to get a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars (curiously, it was the film's only nod).

Classic Quote
"Frontiers are an invention of men. Nature doesn't give a hoot."

Classic Scenes

Did you know?
After the film won a prize at the Venice Film Festival for "Best Artistic Ensemble" in 1937, the Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels declared La Grande Illusion "Cinematic Public Enemy No. 1" and ordered the prints to be confiscated and destroyed.

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