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The Rules of the Game

The Rules of the Game

A Feature film by Jean Renoir

Produced by NEF - Nouvelles Éditions de Films

Release in France : 08/07/1939

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Actors (18)

Production and distribution (3)

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Aviator André Jurieux has just completed a record-setting flight, but when he is greeted by an admiring crowd, all he can say to them is how miserable he is that the woman he loves did not come to meet him. He is in love with Christine, the wife of aristocrat Robert de la Cheyniest. Robert himself is involved in an affair with Geneviève de Marras, but he is trying to break it off. Meanwhile, André seeks help from his old friend Octave, who gets André an invitation to the country home where Robert and Christine are hosting a large hunting party. As the guests arrive for the party, their cordial greetings hide their real feelings, along with their secrets - and even some of the servants are involved in tangled relationships.

Source : IMDb


The Rules of the Game (original French title: La Règle du jeu) is a 1939 French film directed by Jean Renoir about upper-class French society just before the start of World War II. He originally adapted the story from Alfred de Musset's Les Caprices de Marianne, a popular 19th-century comedy of manners: "My first intention was to film a transposition of Caprices de Marianne to our time. It is the story of a tragic mistake: the lover of Marianne is taken for someone else and is bumped off in an ambush". He was also inspired by "Jeu de l'amour et du hasard" of Marivaux, by Molière, and took some details from Beaumarchais: the quotation at the beginning of the film comes from "Le Mariage de Figaro".

The Rules of the Game is often cited as one of the greatest films in the history of cinema.

The Rules of the Game is noted for its use of deep focus so that events going on in the background are as important as those in the foreground. In a 1954 interview with Jacques Rivette and François Truffaut, reprinted in Jean Renoir: Interviews, Renoir said "Working on the script inspired me to make a break and perhaps get away from naturalism completely, to try to touch on a more classical, more poetic genre." He wrote and rewrote it several times, often abandoning his original intentions altogether upon interaction with the actors having witnessed reactions that he hadn't foreseen. As a director he sought to "get closer to the way in which characters can adapt to their theories in real life while being subjected to life’s many obstacles that keep us from being theoretical and from remaining theoretical".

The film's style has had an impact on numerous filmmakers. One example is Robert Altman, whose Gosford Park copies many of Rules of the Game's plot elements (a story of aristocrats in the country, aristocrats and their servants, murder) and pays homage with a direct reference to the infamous hunting scene, or "la chasse", in which no one moves but the help.

Source : Wikipedia

Full credits (10)

Producer :

Jean Renoir

Director of Photography :

Alain Renoir

Production Manager :

Claude Renoir

Production designers :

Max Douy, Eugène Lourie

Still Photographers :

Jean Bachelet, Sam Levin

Technical details

Feature film

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Original French-language productions :


Nationality :

100% French

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Runtime :

1 h 40 min

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Color type :

Black & White

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