Cinema: The New Pictures: Sep. 26, 1938

Grand Illusion (Jean Renoir) is one of the least kinetic and one of the most absorbing of cinema's innumerable treatments of the World War. Concerned not with fighting but with respite from fighting, it investigates a group of French inmates of a German prison camp. The prisoners—principally an austere patrician, Captain de Boeldieu (Pierre Fresnay), his mechanic, Marechal (Jean Gabin), and a generous fellow, Rosenthal (Dalio), who shares the canned delicacies sent by his rich family—naturally try to escape. Director Renoir, however, builds his plot, not around the success or failure...

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