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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of the Criterion 2-disc DVD edition
On the surface, THE RULES OF THE GAME is a frivolous satire of the French ruling class during the interwar years. But beneath it, this 1939 film is a rather sweeping appraisal on human nature and how the rigidity of our society continues to undermine our humanity. With a microcosmic cast of characters that comprises of masters and servants, the film weaves an intricate...
Published on Jan. 24 2004 by keviny01

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars The only french mov i love
MY RATING- 7.2
I watched this mov, knowing it was called a masterpiece, but guessing that it would be boring like all french films. How wrong I was! I actually liked the style, it almost looked like some american comedies from the 30's!
Well, the major importance of the mov is social critique and the behaviour in the best families of that time and Jean Renoir...
Published on Dec 14 2002 by scottie


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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic., Feb. 24 2004
By 
offeck (New York, NY -- United States of America) - See all my reviews
Beautiful packaging, very clear and stable transfer, nice bonuses/extras. It'll impress your friends... Don't forget Grand Illusion, also on Criterion!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, great DVD, great company, Feb. 5 2004
Great movie, great DVD. The reason it's expensive is because Criterion has to license the films they distribute and also because they put out some lesser known titles (compared to this relatively well known film, that is), thus the added cost. You really do get your money's worth and support a great company.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Movie Collector's Dream Come True, Jan. 30 2004
By 
C. Rubin (San Leandro, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is the best DVD release I have ever seen. The print quality is better than new, and the extras are endless. We are lucky that Criterion acquired this movie, which has been universally praised. If there were such a thing as a 'priceless' DVD, this would be it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The DVD of the Year., Jan. 28 2004
By 
Nowhere Man (Farmington, MI) - See all my reviews
On its surface, "The Rules of the Game" is a light farce involving the couplings - and decouplings - of an assortment of weekend guests staying at the chateau of the Comte de la Cheyniest (Marcel Dalio). Without knowing any other context, the film can be enjoyed on this level: Renoir's writing (he co-scripted) is witty and his direction is elegant and sublime. His fluid long-shots make you feel like you're gliding along in this rarified - though topsy-turvy - world; and his open approach to the actors is suffused with generosity. He never allows us to focus on one particular person, or couple, because, in this social world, "everyone has their reasons" and everyone's actions bounce and intertwine with everyone else's.
As a homage and updating of a classic French farce, "Rules" is flawless; it is, however, as a commentary on the decline of a social order that makes this more than a cinematic souffle. Shot in 1939, "between Munich and the War" as Renoir says, the film is portrait of the European aristocracy where ethical codes (conjugal fidelity above all) are not only violated, but are even dismissed as irrelevant. Human relationships collapse and reform with sudden ease (witness the gameskeeper and the poacher) and those who cling to outmoded notions of love and faithfulness set themselves up for disaster (such as the aviator). This is the domestic complement to Renoir's war drama, "La Grande Illusion", where the mournful French and German artistocratic officers, having more in common amongst themselves than with the common soldiers of their respective nationalities, lament that mechanized warfare has rendered their class irrelevant.
Both "Illusion" and "Rules" may seem irrelevant themselves in the US, which did not have a traditional feudal aristocracy. Yet both films fascinate by showing individuals attempting to survive, and thrive, in worlds where the old, comfortable standards no longer apply. If the aristocrats in "Rules" openly, and rather disinterestedly, conduct affairs with each others' spouses, why shouldn't a humble poacher poach a gameskeeper's wife too? If "everyone has their reasons", the famous quote from the film, then, who's to decide which "reasons" are justified or unjust, legitimate or scandalous?
The Criterion double-disc sets its own standards. The extras are plentiful and fascinating, including interviews from the few remaining cast and crew members, the essay booklet intelligent and penetrating, and the transfer quality of the film is superb considering the film's history (having been cut at its premiere, banned, its original negative destroyed in WWII, and finally reassembled in the late 1950's). This disc was clearly a labor of love and the effort shows throughout: this disc is worth Criterion's asking price.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Renoir's vision of the disappearing French aristocracy..., Jan. 26 2004
Rules of the Game is a film that displays the dishonesty of the French aristocracy and the rules that they play by in order to remain in good standards with their upper class. It begins with André, a heroic pilot, that has crossed the Atlantic in order to display his love for Christine. However, André is rejected by Christine as she does not appear when he lands on French soil. Christine's husband, Robert, is attempting to put an end to a long love affair with his mistress, but is incapable of breaking up the affair. The four of them are united with a large group of aristocrats at their chateau for a weekend hunting party and this is where the game truly begins and the rules are set into action, which are even mimicked by the servants. Rules of the Game is directed by the cinematic genius Renoir and this shines through in this film as the story unfolds. It should also be mentioned that this film nearly got destroyed during World War II, but was reconstructed in 1959 in order for coming generations to be able to view Renoir's vision of the disappearing French aristocracy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Criterion DVD of Renior, Jan. 22 2004
By 
E. Dolnack (Atlanta, GA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is yet another fabulous DVD from the Criterion Collection. The packaging is neat: presented in a fold-out case enclosed within a blue plastic outer-shell. There's two disks in this set - the film itself and some extras, such as interviews and a BBC bio of Jean Renior's career as a filmmaker.
This classic film is a look at class divisions in France between the world wars. It's similar in style to the recent "Gosford Park" but with a whole lot more poignancy. Whereas Gosford looks back nostalgically, Rules of the Game does so with a judgemental vengence. There's a lot of passion behind this film, which is probably what initially scared most reviewers when the film first premiered.
Great movie - Great DVD
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5.0 out of 5 stars A favorite, Dec 31 2003
By A Customer
One of my favorite films. Intelligent? Yes. Effective social criticism? Yes. But most notably (and perhaps least appreciated), it is a film with a big heart. Renoir shows a fascination with and a fondness for the complexities and weaknesses and absurdities of human kind. Here he touches on the universal, making the film far more rewarding than what I expected from a 65 year old piece of "social criticism."
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3.0 out of 5 stars The only french mov i love, Dec 14 2002
By 
scottie (Sintra, Portugal) - See all my reviews
MY RATING- 7.2
I watched this mov, knowing it was called a masterpiece, but guessing that it would be boring like all french films. How wrong I was! I actually liked the style, it almost looked like some american comedies from the 30's!
Well, the major importance of the mov is social critique and the behaviour in the best families of that time and Jean Renoir manages to it well. You see for instance the character of Marcel Dalio fighting with a guy then offering him a cigarette few moments later. Attention to the symbols of the hunt for the rabbits like it would be the party.
The mov simply doesn't hit me as some brit and american masterpieces. By the way, I found the actress who played Lisette very pretty too.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Rules of the Game - Criterion Collection, May 21 2004
By A Customer
When affluent Marquis Robert de la Chesnaye (Marcel Dalio) hosts a party at his sprawling property, emotions run high. Guests include Robert's mistress Genevieve (Mila Parely) and pilot Andre Jurieu (Roland Toutain), who fancies Robert's wife, Christine (Nora Gregor). Meanwhile, Schumacher (Gaston Modot) is trying to keep Marceau (Julien Carette) from hitting on his wife (Paulette Dubost). All the while, the servants watch with great interest.
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1 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rules of the Lame, Dec 29 2003
This masterpiece is dated and tired. The characters are over-the-top and just plain silly. Wittiness, manners, and attitude reverberate in quick-fire dialogue to an unbearable degree of irritation. Seeing this to the end was a chore. How this can be ranked as one of the best movies of all time is beyond me. You can talk about production values all you want, but still, the story must come first! I recommend you see this, just so that you can get a true appreciation for those saps whose careers are based on finding more there than there really is. I'm convinced that most critics are largely influenced by those critics before them, to the extent that judging a film's merit becomes an uninspiring task in objectivity. And that's too bad.
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The Rules of the Game (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-Ray] (Version française)
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