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Rules of the Game

The Rules of the Game

4.3 6
Director: Jean Renoir, Nora Gregor, Marcel Dalio, Roland Toutain

Cast: Jean Renoir, Nora Gregor, Marcel Dalio, Roland Toutain


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Often cited as one of the greatest French films ever made, Jean Renoir's biting satire of moral corruption among the genteel bourgeoisie has been given a fittingly lavish presentation in this DVD release from The Criterion Collection. La Règle du Jeu (aka The Rules of the Game) has been transferred to disc in the original full-frame aspect ratio of


Often cited as one of the greatest French films ever made, Jean Renoir's biting satire of moral corruption among the genteel bourgeoisie has been given a fittingly lavish presentation in this DVD release from The Criterion Collection. La Règle du Jeu (aka The Rules of the Game) has been transferred to disc in the original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono. The dialogue is in French, with optional English language subtitles. This edition includes a wealth of bonus materials, including an introduction from director Jean Renoir; a commentary written by film historian Alexander Sesonske and read in English by Peter Bogdanovich; an analysis of selected scenes by Christopher Faulkner; and a study of the film's shooting script and a comparison of the film's two endings. In addition, there are excerpts from two television documentaries on Renoir; interviews with actress Mila Parély, set designer Max Douy, and assistant cameraman Alain Renoir (who is also Jean's son); a short documentary on how The Rules of the Game was first destroyed and then reconstructed; and writings from Jean Renoir, François Truffaut, Wim Wenders, Paul Schrader, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bertrand Tavernier, and many more.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Monica McIntyre
Elegant, funny, and profoundly pessimistic, Jean Renoir's 1939 masterpiece Rules of the Game is widely considered one of France's greatest cinematic exports. With the help of Carl Koch, Renoir -- son of the Impressionist painter Auguste Renoir -- adapted Alfred de Musset's "Les Caprices de Marianne." Set during a weekend house party in the country, this tragicomic farce explores class differences and sexual peccadilloes, featuring Roland Toutain as a pilot in love with a woman (Nora Gregor) who is married to an aristocrat (Marcel Dalio). The film remains a landmark for its ensemble construction, exploring the relationships among its characters in a fashion that continues to influence such prominent filmmakers as Robert Altman and Paul Thomas Anderson. Renoir's visual style consists of camera movements that glide easily between actors and deep-focus photography that highlights the characters' environment. It all combines beautifully to express the film's central theme: the social code of behavior that connects us to one another while simultaneously keeping us apart.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Jean Renoir's masterpiece and his last French film before he went to Hollywood, Rules of the Game (1939) is an intricate, tragi-comic indictment of a decadent European culture on the verge of collapse and war. Renoir's innovative "observational" style of long takes, deep focus, and gracefully subtle camera movements relates the characters to their environment and to each other, communicating the complexity of the class-based society seen in microcosm at the film's central country house. Rather than overtly manipulating the viewer's attention and emotional responses, Renoir's style allows the audience to share his ambivalent view of human nature, playing out multiple, metaphorically loaded love triangles among the guests and servants at the estate. Setting up the story around contrasts between tradition and modernity, individual passion and social rules, and nature and culture (revealing the corrupting force of culture in a brutal hunting sequence), Renoir presents a declining society doomed by its intractable conflicts and adherence to superficial manners. In his role as Octave, Renoir literally orchestrates the events but even he, the wise artist, cannot prevent violent tragedy. After provoking a riot at its Paris premiere, Rules of the Game was edited to 80 minutes and finally banned by French censors as "demoralizing"; the Nazis banned it during the Occupation as well. Although the original negative was destroyed in World War II, Rules of the Game was restored under Renoir's supervision to its original length (minus one short scene) in the late 1950s, debuting to great acclaim at the 1959 Venice Film Festival. In this version, Rules of the Game has since come to be considered one of the greatest and most influential films ever made.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
[Dolby Digital Mono]

Special Features

New high-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound; Introduction to the film by Jean Renoir; Audio commentary written by film scholar Alexander Sesonske and read by filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich; Version comparison: Side-by-side analysis of the two endings of the film, along with an illustrated study of Renoir's shooting script; Selected scene analysis by Renoir historian Christopher Faulkner; New and improved English subtitle translation; Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition; Excerpts from "Jean Renoir, le Patron: La Règle et L'Exception" (1966), a French television program directed by Jacques Rivette; Part one of "Jean Renoir," a two-part 1993 BBC documentary by David Thompson, featuring reflections on Renoir form his family, friends, collaborators, and admirers; New video essay about the film's production, release, and later reconstruction ; Jean Gaborit and Jacques Durand discuss their reconstruction and rerelease of the film; New interviews with Renoir's son, Alain, and assistant cameraman on the film ; New interview with The Rules of the Game set designer Max Douy; 1995 interview with actress Mila Parély; Written tributes to the film and Renoir by J. Hoberman, Kent Jones, Paul Schrader, Wim Wenders, and others; 24-page booklet featuring writings by Jean Renoir, François Truffaut, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bertrand Tavernier, and an essay by Alexander Sesonske

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Nora Gregor Christine de La Chesnaye
Jean Renoir Octave
Marcel Dalio Robert de La Chesnaye
Roland Toutain Andre Jurieu
Paulette Dubost Lisette
Gaston Modot Schumacher
Camille François Radio Announcer
Mila Parely Genevieve de Marrast
Odette Talazac Charlotte de la Plante
Claire Gérard Mme. La Bruyere
Anne Mayen Jackie
Lise Elina Radio Reporter
Julien Carette Marceau
Pierre Magnier General
Eddy Debray Corneille
Pierre Nay M. de Saint-Aubin
Richard Francoeur M. La Bruyere
Leon Larive Cuisinier
Nicolas Amato South Americain
Henri Cartier-Bresson English Servant
Tony Corteggiani Berthelin
Roger Forster Effimine invitee
Jenny Hélia Kitchen Servant
André Zwoboda Ingenieur
Antoine Corteggiani Berthelin, the Huntsman

Technical Credits
Jean Renoir Director,Screenwriter
Jean Bachelet Cinematographer
Henri Cartier-Bresson Asst. Director
Coco Chanel Costumes/Costume Designer
G. Claret Score Composer
Joseph DeBretagne Sound/Sound Designer
Desormes Delonnel-Garnier Score Composer
Roger Desormieres Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Max Douy Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
Camille François Score Composer,Screenwriter
Carl Koch Asst. Director,Screenwriter
Joseph Kosma Musical Direction/Supervision
Eugène Lourié Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
Monsigny Score Composer
Marguerite Renoir Editor
Claude Renoir Producer
Earl Rose Score Composer
Salabert Score Composer
Vincent Scotto Score Composer
André Zwoboda Asst. Director,Screenwriter

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Disc One
1. Opening Credits [2:15]
2. André & Octave [3:38]
3. Lisette & Christine [1:28]
4. Christine & Robert [2:00]
5. Robert & Geneviève [2:50]
6. "You'll See Her Again" [3:02]
7. Convincing Christine [4:28]
8. "A Dangerous Poet" [3:16]
9. Schumacher & Marceau [7:17]
10. Guests [3:03]
11. Upstairs [3:29]
12. Downstairs [3:33]
13. "Cards on the Table" [4:12]
14. La Chasse [6:54]
15. A Closer Look [4:12]
16. Frankly Speaking [3:06]
17. "She Loves Me..." [2:41]
18. La Fête de La Colinière [6:21]
19. "There Are Still Rules" [1:45]
20. The Marquis' Latest Find [3:43]
21. The Chase [1:46]
22. "Poor Little Christine" [3:05]
23. End of the Affair [5:18]
24. "Everyone Lies" [4:41]
25. A Dangerous Angel [6:00]
26. "You're Making a Mistake" [3:20]
27. The Sacrifice [2:43]
28. Game Over [3:51]
29. Color Bars [2:13]
1. A Frivolous Story [2:15]
2. Un Film D'ensemble [3:38]
3. The Only Topic of Interest [1:28]
4. Political Climate [2:00]
5. Moral Parameters [2:50]
6. Outsiders [3:02]
7. The Go-Between [4:28]
8. Reasons [3:16]
9. Structure & Sources [7:17]
10. Christine [3:03]
11. Maintaining Appearances [3:29]
12. Mirror Image [3:33]
13. Schumacher & Marceau [4:12]
14. The Thematic Center [6:54]
15. Winding Up the Plot [4:12]
16. Mistaken Discoveries [3:06]
17. Change of Partners [2:41]
18. Out of Renoir's Control [6:21]
19. Roles Reversed [1:45]
20. Summation of a Life [3:43]
21. Triangles & Pairs [1:46]
22. The Jester's Reality [3:05]
23. Sound & Music [5:18]
24. Old & New Loyalties [4:41]
25. Renoir & Octave [6:00]
26. The Truth in the Mirror [3:20]
27. Death of Innocence [2:43]
28. A Web of Truths [3:51]
29. Color Bars [2:13]
Side #2 -- Disc Two
1. Between Munich & The War [2:53]
2. The Shooting Script/ Depth of Field [5:09]
3. The Main Characters [3:23]
4. Seeking the Center [2:01]
5. La Chesnaye [7:29]
6. Christine [4:38]
7. Improvisaion [3:38]
8. The Sacrifice [1:56]
1. "How Did He Do It?" [2:51]
2. Auguste the Father [4:25]
3. Gabrielle/The Military [3:43]
4. Dédée [3:09]
5. La Five de L'eau [3:47]
6. Charleston/Nana [4:11]
7. La Chienne/ Baudu [6:19]
8. Le Crime de Monsieur Lange [2:48]
9. Political Leanings/ Marguerite [3:27]
10. A Day in the Country [5:40]
11. Grand Illusion [7:46]
12. The Rules of the Game [6:28]
13. Leaving France [5:18]


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The Rules of the Game 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
nothing can be said to show what i feel for this film. not only has it influenced my life greatly, but it's also helped me have a different perspective on many other things. sure the hunting scenes seem cruel, but it's all part of the message renoir was trying to convey. buy this film, regardless the price!
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