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Showing 1-10 of 37 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 95 reviews
on June 13, 2008
On the back of the Criterion dvd it says the The Rules of the Game is a scathing critique of corrupt French society cloaked in a comedy of manners. I would agree. For the average film viewer picture a classier artier version of the Nichols directed movie Closer (Superbit Edition) with more underlying messages of society and less a character study on love and sex. They are similar because in both movies there is deception and this person is hooking up with this one and so on but there is no real love. Whether they do it out of boredom or pure animal instinct and try to use love as an excuse for their actions. The movie also takes some shots at the media as one character points out how all these important people on television lie why shouldn't the simple people. The movie says a lot and could generate a different perspective to each viewer which makes it great by transcending being pigeonholed into a genre. Simply giving a plot description would be cheating it. All this funny business takes place at a weekend hunting party where the only thing separating the guests from the game they're hunting are the rules.

TONS of Criterion Features (from the back of the dvd)
Disc 1 - New HD transfer with restored image and sound
-Intro to the film by Jean Renoir
-Audio comment 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 shotting script
-Selected scene analysis by Renoir historian Christopher Falkner

Disc II
Excerpts from Renoir, le patron: La regle et l' exception (1966) a french tv program dir. by Jacques Rivette
-Part I of Renoir, a II part 1993 BBC doc by David Thompson, featuring reflections on Renoir from his family, friends, collaborators, and admirers.
-New video essay about the films production, release, and later reconstruction
-Jean Gaborit and Jacques Durand discuss their recon and re release of the film
-New interview with Renoir's son, Alain, an assistant cameraman on the film
New Int with Rules set designer Max Douy
-1995 int w/ actress Mia Parely
-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, Francois Truffaut, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bertrand Tavemier, and an essay by Alexander Sesonske.
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on May 12, 2015
Great films inhabit a world all their own. It is almost impossible to grade them in any comparative sense with most other movies which are primarily entertainment. "Rules of the Game" is actually rather strange. But its strangeness is what gives it its unique brilliance. Is it a comedy of manners or a tragic indictment of the upper classes? It is all this and more. But most important, "Rules of the Game" is beautiful. Great sensitivity is found in every scene—the positioning of actors and settings, the play of light, and the extraordinary camera work, all at the service of a director with tremendous artistic vision.
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on January 20, 2009
Hmmmm.....what's to say. The movie, The Rules of the Game is considered one of the greatest movies ever made simply because it is one of the greatest movies ever made. The cinematography is innovative for it's time. The acting is excellant. The story is a fascinating sociological probe of French upper middle class culture of the time.

But this edition is especially provocative. It is particularly interesting that the movies that are considered breakthroughs often did the worst at the box office. Renoir was nearly driven out of France for this one. The comparisons with Citizen Kane are fascinating.

Particularly interesting in the considerable extra material provided with this edition is the intimate details of Renoir's life including rarely disclosed information about his father, the painter, Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

The Criterion Collection would be relevant as a study piece in several courses - sociology, art, communication.....
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on April 2, 2001
RULES OF THE GAME is the CITIZEN KANE of France. The 2 films were made within 2 years of one another; both used innovative techniques such as deep-focus photography, long takes, and overlapping dialogs; both were rejected by the public upon its first release and re-discovered in the fifties. Fittingly, both films were often ranked side by side in many polls of the greatest films ever made. Most importantly, the two films succeeded where few films did: advancing the art of film, providing spectacular entertainment, and shedding profound insights on the human condition.
(I will reveal plot details below; those who haven't seen RULES please read no further! My brief analysis of the film, of course, does not do justice to it.) Though a comedy on the surface and raucous at times, RULES consistently delves into the dark themes of deceit and death. Throughout the film we see lies being told, infidelity being committed, hypocrisy being carried out. At the film's midpoint, the violent, belligerent nature of man is potently depicted in a barrage of killings that occur in the famous hunting sequence. Near the end, the film teases us briefly when enemies seem to reconcile and past offenses are about to be forgiven. Then, in one of the most memorable endings in film, death and deceit resurface: a man is shot to death as a result of an extramarital love affair, and his death is explained away neatly as an accident in order to hide all the "dirty linen"; it is a moment that makes you laugh out loud at its absurdity and sigh in sadness at the same time. The film concludes with one of the most haunting images: a funereal procession of the shadows of people moving past our view.
To paraphrase the old general in the film, films like RULES are "a rare breed" indeed.
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on September 21, 2013
The black-and-white photography/cinematography is superb, what with Henri Cartier-Bresson in both cast (the English butler) and crew (assistant director of photography)...long depth-of-field shots! And the opening scene has got to have inspired Orson Welles "Citizen Kane." A great French comedy of manners/farce...and a critique of French society at the same time. Renoir both directs and acts in the film...he's a surprisingly delightful character.
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on June 15, 2017
Very good film. A classic. I'm very glad.
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on October 16, 2012
This movie is a wonderful farce, comedy, melodrama. It is a comedy in the sense of Chekhov comedies; sometimes with its crazy rhythm and slapstick it reminds Bunuel movies. The acting and filmography are brilliant. In comparison with the other Renoir's classic, La Grande Illusion which is also a brilliant movie, this one is not dated at all.
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on February 21, 2012
I am not going to rehash the plot of this great film, easily in my top 3 films ever made with Citizen Kane and Double Indemnity. This is satire with REAL teeth produced and shot with groundbreaking and breathtaking technique. This is what Godsford Park, Downton Abbey, and other wannabes wish they could be..........the hunting scene alone is one of the disturbing pieces of film ever made.............highest possible recommendation.
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on January 17, 2016
Bruce Fitzpatrick takes you through the life of a drug dealer, his eventual incarceration, and finally his release from prison. Twists and turns throughout the story.
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on January 5, 2014
Considered by some one of the greatest films ever made. Great director, great actors (I admire Julien Carette, that I remember from other films, more than the others), fine plot. Sometimes all these rich people seem so superficial that we may suspect the actors of not taking their their role seriously. But that's what the film is about: these people had it so easy that they lacked consistency and were not taking life seriously enough. Gives you an idea of the French society of the time, focusing on the masters and servants class differences. A love story as part of the plot.
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