The Rules of the Game (1939)


The awful thing about life is this: Everybody has their reasons.

— Octave

Thanks to the fantastic Michael Vox from the Cinebanter podcast for turning me on to They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They? which has a constantly updated list of the 1,000 Greatest Films of All Time. Deviating from the users voted upon list of the greatest films of all time, I wanted to get a real deal Holyfield.

Jean Renoir’s The Rules of the Game comes in a number #3. This is a Criterion collection and the enjoyment was felt throughout this movie.

Much like Robert Altman’s Gosford Park, this films deals with the trials and tribulations  with the upper crust of French society before the start of WWII.

A transatlantic pilot named André Jurieux returns from his trip to find that the love of his life, the Austrian transplant Christine (Nora Gregor) did not meet him. He is heartbroken. His friend, Octave (Jean Renoir) becomes his consular as he is tries to kill himself.

Christine’s husband, Robert de la Cheyniest (Marcel Dalio) knows about André’s intentions toward his wife. He wants to invite him for the weekend at their country estate, La Colinière. Robert also invited his longtime mistress, Geneviève de Marras (Mila Parély). He is trying to break off their relationship.

The subsequent days are filled with hunting for game, unrequited love, and an escape from lives.

It was refreshing take on the comedy of manners genre. The only problem with the movie is the character of André. He is heartbroken. It’s understandable, but he needs to get over it. His character is very one note.

Judgment: It’s a fabulous movie. End of story.

Rating: ****1/2


About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on June 17, 2009, in 1939, Classic Movies, Comedy, Drama, Foreign Language, Running Feature, The Criterion Collection and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. This is one of those films I’ve always wanted to see but other classics always seem to get in the way. For example, tonight I’m watching FELLINI’S CASANOVA (on import Blu-ray, wow!) while this one sits unwatched on my shelf. I. must. see. this. soon:) Thanks for the write-up!

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