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The Jean Renoir Collection [DVD] [1998]

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2 new from £80.00

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Product details

  • Actors: Jean Gabin, Ingrid Bergman, Mel Ferrer, Catherine Rouvel, Jean-Louis Barrault
  • Directors: Jean Renoir
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 7
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Optimum Home Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Jun. 2007
  • Run Time: 755 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B000N3T2LM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 117,588 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Seven films by French auteur Jean Renoir. 'La Grande Illusion' (1937) is a prison escape film, generally regarded as Jean Renoir's most popular film of the 1930s and one which, although often seen as a humane and pacifist indictment of war, offers an ambiguous perspective on class differences. Set in a WWI German prisoner-of-war camp, the film tells the story of three French soldiers, the working-class Marechal (Jean Gabin), the middle-class Jew, Rosenthal (Marcel Dalio), and the aristocrat senior officer, Boieldieu (Pierre Fresnay), who are held prisoner by Commandant Von Rauffenstein (Erich von Stroheim). The film shows how a bond of sympathy exists more between the German Commandant and the senior French officer than between the three Frenchman of different classes. Even though Boieldieu sacrifices himself for the two others to escape, the film makes no attempt to conceal what they are returning to once their role as war heroes is over. In 'Le Caporal Epingle' (1952) an upper-class corporal from Paris is captured by the Germans when they invade France in 1940. 'La Marseillaise' (1938) is a news-reel like film about the early part of the French Revolution, shown from the eyes of individual people across the country. 'La Bete Humaine' (1938) is an adaptation of the novel by Emile Zola. Gabin plays a train driver who falls in love with a colleague's wife, Séverine (Simone Simon). Her jealous husband has already murdered his wife's former lover. In 'Le Testament Du Docteur Cordelier' (1959), a lawyer, Joly (Teddy Bilis), is disturbed when his friend, the eminent psychiatrist and researcher, Dr Cordelier (Jean-Louis Barrault), makes out a will leaving everything to a mysterious stranger, Opale (also played by Jean-Louis Barrault). In 'Le Dejeuner Sur L'Herbe' (1959), Etienne Alexis, a candidate for president of the new Europe, is a scientist promoting artificial insemination for social betterment and as a therapy to eliminate passion. Finally, in 'Elena et les Hommes' (1956), Polish countess Elena (Ingrid Bergman) falls in love with a French radical party's candidate in pre-World War I Paris - but another officer pines for her.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 7 Nov. 2007
Format: DVD
Unlike LionsGate's Region 1 Renoir boxed set, this doesn't include Renoir's first two silent features (La femme de L'eau and Nana), but offers a fine overview of the director's established classics and some less well remembered films from the beginning and end of his career.

Made with film stock left over from the production of Nana, 1927's Sur un Air de Charleston is described as a holiday film for all concerned, and that's the best way to view it. Jean Renoir seems never to have thought enough of it to even edit the footage together. The plot is a simple reversion of racial stereotypes - in 2028 a black explorer travels to a post-holocaust Paris where a white native girl teaches him the Charleston (naturally he assumes she's a savage whose dancing is a prelude to her eating him before giving in to the seductive beat of `White Aborigine' music). There are plenty of surreal touches, be it the pet gorilla eating the flowers in Catherine Hessling's hair, the angels the girl telephones (Renoir and producer Pierre Braunberger among them) or the fact that black performer Johnny Huggins plays his part in minstrel blackface while Hessling's dancing ability is almost completely nonexistent, and there are some interesting occasional experiments with slow motion, but there's not really enough to sustain it for its modest two reels. An additional air of surrealism is provided by the fact that this silent musical has absolutely no score at all on Lions Gate's new DVD...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
Great to find this item as a gift for a friend 14 Oct. 2013
By Ann Millington - Published on
Verified Purchase
It was wonderful to find this collection as a gift for a dear friend who has wanted this production for years but never had the means to source it out. It arrived safely, albeit that it took a while to come to Australia. I only used ordinary post and I am not sure how long that takes. I thought the seller was very generous in only charging the standard item post charge even though this was a boxed set. Would recommend seller as communication was superb at all times. Now looking forward to transcribing these discs from Region 2 to Region 4, so my friend has them for her birthday and can finally watch the genius of Jean Renoir - son of the famous Auguste - the unparalleled French impressionist painter.
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