Grand Illusion (The Criterion Collection)
Special Edition, The Criterion Collection
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One of the very first prison escape movies, Grand Illusion is hailed as one of the greatest films ever made. Jean Renoir's antiwar masterpiece stars Jean Gabin and Pierre Fresnay, as French soldiers held in a World War I German prison camp, and Erich von Stroheim as the unforgettable Captain von Rauffenstein. Following a smash theatrical re-release, Criterion is proud to present Grand Illusion in a new special edition, with a beautifully restored digital transfer.
- A rare filmed introduction by Jean Renoir
- Archival radio presentation: Renoir and Erich von Stroheim accept the film's Best Foreign Film award at the 1938 New York Film Critics Circle Awards
- Re-release press book excerpts: Renoir's letter "to the projectionist," cast bios, an essay on Renoir by von Stroheim, essays about the film's title and the recently recovered original camera negative
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Top customer reviews
Studio Canal's blu ray of La Grande Illusion is really good looking, but I feel it could look better. I had the awesome pleasure of recently seeing this great masterpiece on the big screen at Dallas' Angelika Theater with a gorgeous print that I had trouble believing this film was made in 1937! Fantastic presentation all around. I feel that print was not used for this blu ray. If you like films looking like video, then this is for you. I want these older films to look like movies with the grain still intact. Looks as if Studio Canal might have used some noise reduction (can't say for sure, just looks it) to remove the fine grain that was intact with the film element. Is it possible to clean these prints too much? I still prefer Criterion's print on DVD over this blu ray.
The picture is not the only problem. The very small subtitles were now a problem. I watched this movie on a 55 inch TV and find myself distracted by taking my eyes off the main picture to read the small subtitles. If an older person watches this on a smaller screen, they will have trouble reading the subs. It is an annoyance to say the least.
The special features are nothing to write home about. I found them rather boring compared to the magnificent movie itself.
I got to hand it to Studio Canal for "trying" to release this film onto blu ray, but it doesn't shine like it should. I just hope Criterion can keep hold of Renoir's classic Rules of the Game. That is one marvelous blu ray in of itself. Studio Canal cannot compete with Criterion when it comes to restorations of the classics. Criterion just have many more years of experience under their belt. And the proof is in their great looking blu rays.
If you have The Grand Illusion on DVD from Criterion, keep it. This great movie deserves better than what is offered here on this blu ray.
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