thirty movies hath november – La règle du jeu (1939)

English title: The Rules of the Game, though a literal translation would be The rule of the game

I love this movie so much I don't even know how to begin to talk about it. is it a comedy? yep. a drama? indeed. a 'dramedy'? thankfully not. a comedy of manners? absolutely. an allegory, an analysis, a critique? yes. yes. yes.

a perfect snapshot of a moment in time? very much so. set between the wars at a time when an aristocracy on its way down was meeting a bourgeoisie on it way up; when the servant class was morphing into the working class.

that we even have La règle du jeu to watch is little short of a miracle. its remarkable story, lifted straight from imdb:


Despite now being considered one of the best films made by many historians, the picture almost became a lost art. Claiming that it was bad for the morale of the country (due to impending war), the French government banned the film about a month after its original release. When Germany took over France the following year, it was banned by the Nazi party as well, who also burnt many of the prints. Allied planes then accidentally destroyed the original negatives. It was thought to be a lost picture. In 1956, some followers of director Jean Renoir found enough pieces of the film scattered throughout France to reconstitute it with Renoir's help. Renoir claimed only one minor scene was missing from the original cut.

history, more details and linkage at teh wiki. YT also has interviews with Renoir, expert criticism, etc. etc.


Everyone has their reasons

NOTE: many think, me amongst them, that the scene below is crucial, a moment where several themes of the movie come together.  it is also EXTREMELY DISTURBING. excruciating to watch.

it is a "country hunt" of the kind the guests at a chateau or a country manor of the time would participate in. it features the slaughter of woodland animals, including <gulp> bunnies.

the 'hunt' 

it thrills me that this movie, who could have so easily being lost forever, is available to us. it is a gift. Jean Renoir was a great director, a great filmmaker, and a great humanist. we are lucky to have his work.

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4 thoughts on “thirty movies hath november – La règle du jeu (1939)

  1. I will look for it. I love foreign movies. I used to have a Foreigh Film Festival in my theatre in New York every October and November.
    French movies are my favorite because I can understand the dialogue but still watch the cinematography.

  2. I hope you like it. it is available at Netflix if you subscribe to it. I wish I'd been able to attend your theater's foreign film festivals. I was lucky growing up to have a middle school teacher who was a movie nut and ran the local film buff club on Saturday mornings at a theater that at other times showed "adult movies". ah, memories.

  3. We had Fellini, Kurasawa, Bertoluci, Trufault. I would watch them by myself in the afternoon and just watch the audience at night to see their expressions.
    We have to get Netflix. We are very behind the times when it comes to movies. Tivo has helped because most of what I want to see comes on at about 3:00 AM.
    I loved this movie called Betty Blue. I think it was Australian. Very odd but good.

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