Jean Renoir Collection

Product Description

1. LE TESTAMENT DU DOCTEUR CORDELIER

2. LA GRANDE ILLUSION

3. LA BÊTE HUMAINE

4. LA MARSEILLAISE

5. ÉLÉNA ET LES HOMMES

6. DÉJEUNER SUR HERBE

7. LE CAPORAL ÉPINGLÉ

LE TESTAMENT DU DOCTEUR CORDELIER (1959)

Le Testament Du Docteur Cordelier is Renoir's take on Robert Louis Stevenson's Jekyll and Hyde story, switching the action to 1950s France. Jean-Louis Barrault stars as Dr Cordelier, whose strange experiments on research patients have resulted in a vicious brute named Opale, seemingly responsible for a wave of terror sweeping the Paris suburbs. When a friend of Cordelier's - Monsieur Joly (Teddy Bilis) - discovers that the doctor intends to leave everything he has to Opale, his interest is piqued and begins to delve into the mystery that surrounds the doctor and his strange work...

Audio: English Language

 

LA GRANDE ILLUSION (1937)

Jean Renoir's La Grande Illusion is a poetic and poignant meditation on class, the nature of war and the death of the old European order. Aristocratic Captain de Boeldieu (Pierre Fresnay), mechanic Lieutenant Marechal (Jean Gabin) and wealthy Jewish banker Rosenthal (Marcel Dalio) are all thrown together, despite their vastly different backgrounds, as prisoners of the Germans in World War I. Separated by a successful escape, they are recaptured and reunited in an imposing fortress commanded by German aristocrat Van Rauffenstein (Erich Von Stroheim). Boeldieu and Rauffenstein strike up a friendship that reflects their belonging to a cultural and social elite that they both know is on the way out. However this rapport soon confuses loyalties and threatens Boeldieu's allegiances to the others with tragic consequences. La Grande Illusion was nominated for Best Picture in 1939.

Audio: Mono French language with English subtitles

 

LA BÊTE HUMAINE (1938)

Made in the year between La Grande Illusion and La Règle du Jeu, La Bête Humaine is based on the novel by Emile Zola and furthers illustrates Renoir's preoccupation with the human condition. Jacques Lantier (Jean Gabin), becomes the lover of Severine (Simone Simon), deputy station master Roubaud's (Fernand Ledoux) wife. Roubaud overlooks the affair because he rightly believes that Lantier knows he killed his wife's previous lover. However Lantier cannot separate his attraction to a woman from his desire to kill her, so for how long will their happiness last before his murderous intent overpowers his feelings of love?

Audio: French language with English subtitles

 

LE MARSEILLAISE (1938)

Jean Renoir's carefully woven tapestry of the French Revolution depicts the turbulent events of July 15th 1789 to August 10th 1792 - from the storming of the Bastille by an undisciplined rabble to the defeat of the mighty Prussian infantry by a unified nation. The film traces the adventures of Arnaud and Bornier, two members of the peoples' army whose fight for the principles of Liberte, Egalite and Fraternity represents that of the nation itself, and whose anthem, a song newly adopted from the Rhineland, would become known as La Marseillaise.

Audio: French language with English subtitles

ÉLÉNA ET LES HOMMES (1956)

Ingrid Bergman stars as Elena, a Polish countess, who falls in love with men on the cusp of greatness who need her support, then leaves them when their life's goals have been achieved: her mission also then fulfilled. Her passion for great (undiscovered) men extends to great causes, and leads her to fall in with a group of conniving plotters who plan a coup d'etat, after which they will install war hero General Francois Rollan (Jean Marais), as dictator. Rollan lets himself be used as a pawn because he is in love with Elena and matters are further complicated by Henri (Mel Ferrer), a friend of the General's who is also in love with the Countess.

Audio: French language with English subtitles

DÉJEUNER SUR HERBE (1959)

Dr Etienne Alexis (Paul Meurisse) is a scientist involved in a radical program pioneering the use of artificial insemination. Coming from a coldly formal intellectual upbringing, Alexis' invention aims to remove passion from reproduction as he perceives it to be unnecessary complication; and in doing so he will bring further wealth to his family via their chemical-making corporations. To celebrate both the invention and his engagement to a German cousin, Alexis and some friends hold a picnic where the unexpected interruption by a windstorm coupled with the appearance of young and beautiful servant Nenette (Catherine Rouvel) serve to radically re-educate Alexis' beliefs about the nature of love and class. Inspired by his father's paintings, the film is visually stunning whilst cultivating a playful air of satire and romance.

Audio: French language with English subtitles

LE CAPORAL ÉPINGLé (1962)

Revisiting the prison camp setting he first exploited in La Grande Illusion almost 30 years before, Renoir directs Jean-Pierre Cassel as an aristocratic French Corporal who is captured by the Germans shortly after their invasion of France in 1940. Helped by a variety of different characters - both French and German, the Corporal repeatedly escapes and is re-captured, sometimes making it barely a mile, sometimes all the way to the French border. Nominated for the Golden Bear at Venice.

Audio: Mono French language with English subtitles

Special Features:

LA GRANDE ILLUSION: Intro by Ginette Vincendeau / 2 shorts by Jean Renoir: Sur Un Air De Charleston & La Petite Marchande D'Allumette.

LA MARSEILLAISE: Documentary on La Marseillaise (30 mins)

LE TESTAMENT DU DOCTEUR CORDELIER: Trailer

LE DÉJEUNER SUR L'HERBE: Documentary on Le Déjeuner Sur L'Herbe (38 mins)

LE CAPORAL ÉPINGLE: Trailer, Documentary on Le Caporel Épingle (29 mins)

Key Benefits

  • Films are one of the most effective and enjoyable ways to improve your language skills
  • sub-title function helps in the understanding of difficult words

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£35.99
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Language French
Level Intermediate
Media Type DVD
Film Genre Drama
Classification PG
Subtitles English
Run Time (Mins) 708
Region Region 2 
Number of disks 7
DVD Format Anamorphic, Box Set
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