- Original title
La Grande Illusion
- Running time
- 114 min.
Jean Renoir, Charles Spaak
Christian Matras (B&W)
Erich von Stroheim,
Drama | I World War. Prison Drama. French Poetic Realism
- Synopsis / Plot
- 1916, during World War I. Lieutenant Maréchal and Capitaine de Boeldieu are two combat pilots who are shot down by the Germans. They are taken to a prisoner of war camp where they strike up a friendship with Lieutenant Rosenthal, a wealthy Jew who shares lavish food parcels sent by his family with his fellow prisoners. The three men help with digging a tunnel in a bid to escape from their prison, but they are transferred to another camp before they can finish the task. After numerous further foiled escape attempts, the three men are reuinited at a remote German fortress which now serves as a high security prison. The prison is overseen by a German aristocrat, Capitaine von Rauffenstein, who has been invalided out of the war. Von Rauffenstein fraternises with de Boeldieu, since they share a common social background. Although the fortress has a reputation for being escape-proof, Maréchal and Rosenthal are determined to escape...
: Nominated for Oscar: Best Movie
: New York Film Critics Circle: Best Foreign Language Film
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