Aristocracy (Social class) -- Drama, Entertaining -- Drama, Fascism -- France -- Drama, Triangles (Interpersonal relations) -- France -- Drama

The Rules of the Game

(La règle du jeu)

35mm Print / BAMPFA Student Committee Pick!


Jean Renoir, Marcel Dalio, Nora Grégor, Gaston Modot,

In Renoir’s masterpiece of ruthless grace, made between the Munich accords and the outbreak of war, history plays as both tragedy and farce. This self-declared “dramatic fantasy” à la Beaumarchais and de Musset etches, in the director’s words, “a rich, complex society . . . dancing on a volcano.” It uses the construct of a country-house gathering, with its shooting party and masquerade, its shifting romantic allegiances and upstairs-downstairs micro-melodramas, to frame a portrait of respectable civilization that is both seductive and monstrous. It is Renoir’s special gift to combine entomological precision with genuine compassion for each of his many characters, including the Marquis de la Chesnaye (Marcel Dalio), collector of automatons; his wistful wife Christine (Nora Grégor), who complains “telling lies is such a heavy load to bear”; and their bearish friend Octave (Renoir), whose remark sums up the film’s philosophy in all its damning ambiguity: “Everyone has their reasons.”

Juliet Clark
  • Jean Renoir
  • Karl Koch
  • Jean Bachelet
  • French
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 35mm
  • 106 mins
  • Janus Films

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View The Rules of the Game documents  

The rules of the game (review), Reader (Chicago, Ill.), Dave Kehr, 2006

The rules of the game (program note), Denver International Film Festival, 1996

Jean Renoir: Cinéma de toujours (program), Cannes Film Festival, 1994

Rules of the game (article), Village Voice, Andrew Sarris, 1980

The rules of the game (program note), Pacific Film Archive Calendar, 1977

Jean Renoir (program), National Film Theatre (London, England), 1975

Memories of Resnais (interview), Sight and Sound, Richard Roud, 1969

Billy Wilder / Alain Resnais (program note), National Film Theatre (London, England), Richard Roud, 1968

La regle du jeu (program note), Cineclub Vina del Mar, Gavin Lambert, 1953

Jean Renoir (distributor materials), Janus Films

Displaying 10 of 12 publicly available documents.

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