Day in the Country

A Day in the Country

Director: Jean Renoir, Sylvia Bataille, Jane Marken [Jeanne], Georges Darnoux

Cast: Jean Renoir, Sylvia Bataille, Jane Marken [Jeanne], Georges Darnoux

     
 

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Jean Renoir's A Day in the Country is a short and semisweet romantic vignette based on a story by Guy de Maupassant. A group of family members spend a day away from the city in the French countryside. While the men go off to fish, the mother (Jeanne Marken) has a harmless flirtation with a rural "rake," while the daughter (Sylvia Bataille) has a more serious

Overview

Jean Renoir's A Day in the Country is a short and semisweet romantic vignette based on a story by Guy de Maupassant. A group of family members spend a day away from the city in the French countryside. While the men go off to fish, the mother (Jeanne Marken) has a harmless flirtation with a rural "rake," while the daughter (Sylvia Bataille) has a more serious liaison with a handsome young man (George Saint-Saens). Fourteen years later, the same family vacations at the same spot. The handsome stranger returns, hoping to renew his affair with the daughter; unfortunately, the girl is now married to a dull, insensitive jerk. The two former lovers ponder what might have been, then the family heads back to the city. A Day in the Country currently exists only in a 40-minute version; Renoir had planned to film scenes depicting what happened in the years between the two holidays, but he closed down production due to an acute "creative block." For this reason, although the film was shot in 1936, it wasn't released to theaters until ten years later. For its American distribution, Day in the Country was bundled together with two other short European films -- Jofroi and the controversial The Miracle -- as the portmanteau film The Ways of Love.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
An extraordinarily beautiful and compelling film by Jean Renoir, the virtues of A Day In The Country are even more remarkable when one considers that it is an interrupted, unfinished work. The portion that is present sings with thematic and visual lyricism, suffused with the rhythms of nature that abound in its location setting, and also the sensuous tone and content of its story, itself a romantic idyll; and to this, Renoir adds an element of interaction with music that was amazingly sophisticated in a 1936 movie; and it would have been fascinating to have seen how the intended middle section of the movie made use of these elements. Alas, the very setting that was to set the visual tone for this movie also doomed it at the time -- when he started shooting it in July of 1936, Renoir intended A Day In The Country to be a longer, more complex film, but a series of rain storms delayed shooting until he was finally obligated to put the movie aside, unfinished. He moved on to his next project -- La Vie Est a Nous -- and the existing material languished until a decade later, when the producer, Pierre Braunberger, retrieved and released it. The movie still developed a worldwide following, even in this truncated form. Its status was further confirmed when the British Film Institute released a DVD edition in 2007 that contained all manner of supplementary materials, including surviving outtakes and additional footage.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/10/2015
UPC:
0715515136914
Original Release:
1946
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
0:41:00
Sales rank:
11,828

Special Features

Introduction by Director Jean Renoir from 1962; The road to "A Day in the Country," a new interview with Renoir scholar Christopher Faulkner about the film's production; Renoir at Work, a new video essay by Faulkner on Renoir's methods; Un tournage à la campagne, an eighty-nine minute 1994 compilation of outtakes from the film; Interview with producer Pierre Braunberger from 1979; Screen tests; Plus: an essay by film scholar Gilberto Perez

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sylvia Bataille Henriette Dufour
Jane Marken [Jeanne] Mme Juliette Dufour
Georges Darnoux Henri
Paul Temps Anatole
Henri Cartier-Bresson Seminary Student
Alain Renoir Little Boy Fishing
Marguerite Renoir Servant
Georges Saint-Saens Henri
André Gabriello M. Dufour
Gabrielle Fontan La grand'mere
Jean Renoir Pere Poulain
Pierre Lestringuez Un vieux cure
Jacques Brunius Rodolphe

Technical Credits
Jean Renoir Director,Screenwriter
Jacques Becker Asst. Director
Jean Bourgoin Cinematographer
Pierre Braunberger Producer
Henri Cartier-Bresson Asst. Director
Robert Gys Set Decoration/Design
Joseph Kosma Score Composer
Marguerite Renoir Editor
Claude Renoir Cinematographer

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