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Saturday, May 26, 2012


In 1937, when this magnificent film debuted, I was eight years old. As someone who love movies, I am deeply grateful to the wizards who used their combined technical skills and present day advanced scientific achievements in order to preserve (in excellent condition) and present this masterpiece for the enjoyment -- and I might even say, "enlightenment" of new generations (including mine). Directed by Jean Renoir, starring Jean Gabin, Erich von Stroheim, and Pierre Fresnay, the action takes place during WWI at several P.O.W. camps in Germany.  Focusing on the relationships between the prisoners and their captors (mostly officers), as well as among each other, and the class distinctions between those of "noble" birth (on both sides), it is simply brilliant!  Is it an indictment of war in general?  Yes, I think so.  Does it glorify war? It certainly honors the righteousness of soldiers doing their duty, on both sides.  It includes a re-enactment of a camp show put on by the prisoners in drag, that is truly hilarious. (They even invited the German officers to attend.)    Try to see this if you  can.  It is one of the greatest films of all time!

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