Filmed in the spring of 1939 and first released in July of that year, Jean Renoir’ s La règle du jeu is a magnificent summary of an era that was about to come to an end, both in the history of France and in the French cinema. When Renoir began the film he was at the height of his fame and fortune. His adaptation of Zola’ s novel La bête humaine, starring Jean Gabin and Simone Simon, had opened at the end of 1938 to universal acclaim and, with his brother Claude, his assistant director André Zwoboda, and several other associates, he had formed a production and distribution company called La nouvelle édition française, which he hoped would operate rather in the manner of the United Artists Company in the United States, promoting the work of its owners rather than the fortunes of the studios or big business. La règle du jeu was the company’s first project, and an ambitious one, described by Renoir as ‘a precise description of bourgeois people of our period’ (Curchod and Faulkner, 10).
KeywordsFrench Society Distribution Company Political Impact Mistaken Identity French Culture
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References and Suggestions for Further Reading
- Andrew, Dudley 1995: Mists of Regret: Culture and Sensibility in Classic French Film. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Bazin, André 1971: Jean Renoir. Paris: Éditions Champ Libre.Google Scholar
- Crisp, Colin 1993: Classic French Cinema. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
- Curchod, Olivier and Faulkner, Christopher 1999: La règle du jeu. Scénario original de Jean Renoir. Paris: Nathan.Google Scholar
- Faulkner, Christopher 1979: Jean Renoir: A Guide to References and Resources. Boston, MA: G. K. Hall.Google Scholar
- Vanoye, Francis 1995: La règle du jeu. Paris: Nathan.Google Scholar