In July, Lionsgate Home Entertainment and the StudioCanal Collection will bring La Grande Illusion to North American Blu-ray. Director Jean Renoir's beloved antiwar drama stars Jean Gabin (Port of Shadows) as Maréchal, a French lieutenant enduring imprisonment within the German POW camps during World War I.
Along with the aristocratic Captain Boeldieu (Pierre Fresnay, The Man Who Knew Too Much), Maréchal continually tries to escape his German captors, though a sudden transfer to a far more impregnable fortress puts both men's dreams of freedom in jeopardy.
One of cinema's treasures, the picture - which routinely places on the Sight and Sound rankings of the greatest films ever made - was also the first foreign film ever nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award.
Lionsgate's Blu-ray presents the feature in its 1.37:1 original aspect ratio with a 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track. The disc also contains the following supplements:
Two all-new critical retrospectives:
La Grande Illusion: Success and Controversy by cinema expert and Jean Renoir specialist Olivier Curchod
The original negative of La Grande Illusion by la Cinémathèque de Toulouse's Natacha Laurent
Restoring La Grande Illusion featurette
La Grande Illusion appreciation by cinema professor and film critic Ginette Vincendeau
John Truby film presentation
Trailers from 1937 and 1958 - Presentation of the movie by Jean Renoir
No double dip here. Terrific film but I'll stick with my Criterion DVD. And no bWack, they are not charging as much with Lionsgate's MSRP being 29.99 and Criterion's would be 39.99. Plus Criterion would be using a PCM 1.0 track instead of DTS HD-MA 2.0 encoding. The price is a moot point as cheaper is better but not over quality. Look what Studio Canal did to Kurosawa's "Ran". Guarantee ya Criterion could have done a better job.
What I thought was one of the best parts was the discussion on the current social and political state of France at the time La Grande Illusion was released there, which was just a couple of years before World War II. Given the communist and national socialist idealisms that existed at the time, the viewpoints on the film were varied.
Also discussed was how the French people viewed the importance of the film in French film history and the reaction of film students when they were shown the film.
Having listened to the very good discussion, I would definitely like to get this film.
It would have been interesting for the discussion to be included on the Blu-Ray.
I hope I remember what was in the discussion correctly...
@yabi - these 'studio canal collection' lionsgate discs are priced about the same as criterion discs.
@mike - look at actual amazon prices. all of them are low to mid 20s - just like criterion. and as far as criterion doing better, i agree - but also look at titles like traffic and fear and loathing - really no better than the prior releases by the major studio labels, just with more extras and better packaging. just like ran.
Guys, could you please stop saying that all StudioCanal blu-ray releases are disappointments? There is nothing to compare between the Third Man and La grande illusion. See the French and UK reviews of the blu-ray by StudioCanal on this website and stop whining. StudioCanal has put a lot of efforts on that release and YES, the release will be the same as those European (French and UK) editions as Lionsgate only distributes SC titles in the US and don't change a damn thing on video masters, restoration and transfers.