Talk:La Grande Illusion

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Problems with this article[edit]

This article seems to have many statements requiring proof that are not supported by citation, such as the aim of the movie, Renoir's intentions, etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:28, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

For underlining the statement given in 4.2 "Prejudice" and Renoirs usage of Rosenthal as kind of a metaphor, see e.g. Martin O'Shaughnessy: La Grande Illusion: French Film Guide, London/ New York 2009, p. 107f. He also refers to other authors. Hope that helps. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:21, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

Unsure if this complaint has been dealt with, but I found the article very satisfactory. The plot summary in particular is concise and very well written. Thanks to all involved. Rollo (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 23:47, 18 March 2012 (UTC).
The article seems to contradict the two lectures contained on the StudioCanal blu-ray La Grande Illusion[1], these being the "Introduction" by Ginette Vincendeau[2] and "John Truby Talks About La Grande Illusion" by John Truby[3].
Summarizing what I gathered from Vincendeau and Truby lectures:
- Renoir's main theme is that social class creates closer connections and greater mutual sympathy between people than nationality does.
- And Renoir presents the lower class characters of Germany and France sharing similar jokes, concerns, problems and fancies. He presents lower and middle class people and the nouveau riche from border areas/disputed territories who can bridge the French/German language barrier.
- Renior presents the aristocratic characters of France and Germany speaking to each other in English, already at this time the "linga franca" (common language) of educated people. As with the other classes, aristocrats are portrayed as having more in common with each other than their countrymen.
I can also say that the film's main two characters are middle class and nouveau riche[4]. If I had only read the current Wikipedia article I think I'd be left thinking the main characters are aristocrats.
As for criticism of the existing wikipedia article's lack of citations: Could it be that unlike a book, looking at a normal length film requires little enough effort that a film often provides its own citations?
However, I'm neither a literature nor a film expert or student. So I am only going to put this out there for the experts to consider. If you've seen the film and you're somewhat of an expert in such matters, please consider my comments here when considering updating the article. Thanks. (talk) 03:14, 9 April 2013 (UTC)


  1. ^ La Grande Illusion, Jean Renoir, 1937, La Collection StudioCanal, Blu-Ray, UPC 65935 58496
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ La Grande Illusion, Jean Renoir, 1937, La Collection StudioCanal, Blu-Ray, UPC 65935 58496

Title of the film (RE: Translation)[edit]

I put the literal translation of the title, back at the foot of the article. Is there any dispute the statement is accurate? I agree that the commonly used release title scans better. Ellsworth 16:50, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

In that case shouldn't the article page be moved to Grand Illusion since this is the English wikipedia? Ellsworth 14:44, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I would have no problem with that. --ExplorerCDT 18:51, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I made a request to move it. Ellsworth

I believe the film has been released at various time's with and without the "the". When I first saw it (about 30 years ago) it was "The Grand Illusion". I don't think it really matters which entry is used if the other is re-directed. I'd vote for leaving it with the "the", because I think that is where more people would look for it.
According to the Imdb:
Also Known As: Grand Illusion, The (1938) (USA)
That might be the original release name in the US. There is a bigger issue, which I'd encourage others to weigh in. There doesn't seem to be consistancy about how the names of foreign films are handled in Wikipedia. Many if not most of the French films in Wikipedia are listed by their FRENCH names, not the English. This was discussed a bit at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style--Archive5. Policy seems to be that names should be the most common English usage (even if not technically correct). There didn't seem to be consensus on how names should be handled within articles. I'd be interested in hearing the opinions of others. --Samuel Wantman 22:59, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Requested move 1[edit]

(from WP:RM)

The Grand Illusion (movie)Grand Illusion[edit]

  • Grand Illusion, the English title of the film, is much more familiar to English-speaking readers. Have discussed this on the talk page Ellsworth 19:09, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
  • Agreed. --ExplorerCDT 14:51, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Comment: Why this has waited for 13 days is beyond me, there are no objections. --ExplorerCDT 19:14, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)
  • La Grande Illusion would seem to be more obvious (William M. Connolley 20:56, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC))
    • Comment: Not for the English language article. For the French version of the article (which i'm slowly translating) sure, but today all except one brief mention in 1938 the film has been marketed to the English-speaking world as Grand Illusion, and that's how it's known and referenced today, in English. —ExplorerCDT 22:38, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Comment:The above comments date from 2004. It is now 2012.
- are now marketing the film as "La Grande Illusion."
- Studio Canal probably has the best available restoration and it is marketing as "La Grande Illusion".
- Turner Classic Movies has it as (sic) "Grand Illusion (1937) a.k.a. 'La gran ilusión'"
- The Criterion Collection is marketing it as "Grand Illusion" (talk) 03:20, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

Producer Credit[edit]

IMDB list the Producers as Albert Pinkovitch and Frank Rollmer though both uncredited. Raymond Blondy is listed in the credits as Production Manager. Any advice on who to single out for the infobox, or is it fine as it is?

The Great Escape trivia[edit]

There was no real need to be so rude in your edit summary User:ExplorerCDT. I have been enjoying and learning about film for more than 40 years and will be happy to put my knowledge up against anyone, but that doesn't mean that there isn't always more to learn. In going through the edit history both of these pieces of trivia are unsourced which is against wikipolicy. I have seen many documentaries on all three films mentioned. While the edit about Casablanca is a possibility if you can provide a source I would be happy to read it and learn from it. But the edit about The Great Escape (on which I have also seen several documentaries about the real events of the camp including the one from last year where they found a hatch and one of the forged rubber stamps at a recent archeological dig at the site) and I have never heard of anyone saying that if they hadn't seen Grand Illusion they never would have thought to dig a tunnel. This form of escape goes back much farther than WWI. Once again if you can point me to a source where this is mentioned I will be happy to learn from it. I am, also, not going to start an edit war over this and offer my apologies for offending you with my edit but you sould not jump to conclusions about other editors knowledge. MarnetteD | Talk 04:38, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

This question about the movie is so obvious to modern viewers it needs to be addressed in the article.
I think the proper question is not, whether anyone has said that "if they hadn't seen Grand Illusion they never would have thought to dig a tunnel", but whether Squadron Leader Roger Joyce Bushell or anyone else who contributed to the escape saw the film and was inspired by it.
There are amazing similarities in techniques used between the film "La Grande Illusion", the movie "The Great Escape", and what turned up at the archaeological digs of Stalag Luft III.
It is true that prison camp escapes go back a long way in history, but La Grande Illusion portrayed a particular sort of escape that had no precedent.
Shoring up tunnels with wood is a common enough thing. But you have the use of tins for ventilation pipe, the alarm, the distribution of waste soil.
Undoubtedly, if Jean Renoir had patented his escape techniques he could have successfully sued the men in Stalag Luft III for patent infringement. Of course that does not 100% prove the men of Stalag Luft III used techniques inspired Renoir's film. It is not rare for two people to come up with the same invention, so only a quote prove inspiration.
Remember, it is not did the leader of the great escape from Stalag Luft III copy techniques, but did the men implementing the plan, the tunnelers, copy the techniques.
Of course in the social sciences there is almost never 100% proof of anything.
If it was true that Grande Illusion inspired the techniques used who would come forward to say so?
So I think it is fair to say that and the article should say:
- La Grande Illusion inspired the movie The Great Escape.
- Modern viewers of the La Grande Illusion speculate that it inspired the techniques used in the Great Escape from Stalag Luft III that they have seen dramatized in the movie "The Great Escape".
- There are no quotes from the prisoners involved in creating the escape at Stalag Luft III to substantiate a connection between the actual escape and the film Grande Illusion. (talk) 04:06, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

If, as I understand, La grande illusion disappeared (even in reprint) for some years and was not to be seen at all for a few decades until 1958 (I'm confused on this point), then perhaps they weren't but still what's the point... Schissel | Sound the Note! 10:42, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one article was rated and this bot brought all the other ratings up to at least that level. BetacommandBot 03:34, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Requested move 2[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no consensus to move the page, per the discussion below. Dekimasuよ! 06:10, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Grand Illusion (film)La Grande Illusion — Per this policy... If the film has been released under different titles within the English speaking world - if for example, some English-speaking countries prefer to use the native title, or if different translations are used in different countries - use the most common title throughout. The film was released in the UK with the original title. —Reginmund 23:37, 17 September 2007 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • Support - as nominator. Reginmund 23:37, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose The English title is more common among English speaking countries and preferred by the main policy WP:UE. Doctor Sunshine talk 17:11, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
  • OpposeVariations of this have been discussed on the film projects talk page. This film is known by this name in so many areas including scholarly texts, top 100 lists of world films and on and on. This is the English language wikipedia and this is the name that gets typed into the search engine by those trying to find this page. MarnetteD | Talk 15:15, 20 September 2007 (UTC)


Any additional comments:

An advanced Google search for the English language pages:

  • Renoir "Grand Illusion" -wikipedia — 55,900 hits
  • Renoir "La Grande Illusion" -wikipedia — 29,600 hits

Doctor Sunshine talk 17:11, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

  • That isn't the point. If it says that if the film was released under another title in the Anglosphere, the French title shoould be retained. We have specific guidelines for films. Reginmund 14:31, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
    • That was revised be kept in line with WP:UE per the discussion at WP:FILM. You'll note in the segment you've quoted it says the "most common" title should be used and not the "native" or "original language" title. Doctor Sunshine talk 15:41, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Fair use rationale for Image:292223.1020.A.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 18:36, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Conformed spelling of de Boeldieu[edit]

There was an inconsistency in the spelling of de Boeldieu within the article, so I conformed it. I made it match IMDB. Some of the spellings in the article had a dieresis (tréma), like this: de Boëldieu. This seems out of keeping with the pronunciation in the film. In French, a dieresis indicates that the vowel is emphasized rather than elided into a single syllable or a dipthong: Note the French word Noël (meaning Christmas). I don't hear them calling the captain "duh bo-ell-dyuh" in the film. They seem to say, "duh buhl-dyuh, as one would pronounce it without a dieresis. Softlavender (talk) 09:58, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Plot Point[edit]

Just corrected plot point re the diversionary music @ the castle/prison. De Boeldieu originates the idea after watching the guards respond to a fire set by Russian prisoners. Watched the movie an hour ago. Tapered (talk) 00:12, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Requested move 3[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved per request. Favonian (talk) 18:50, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Grand Illusion (film)La Grande IllusionLa Grande Illusion is the UK and Canada title, and also the title currently used in the US. The US appears to be the only country to have used the title Grand Illusion, and is now using the original French title La Grande Illusion (like the rest of the English-speaking world) so this would seem to be a pretty clear-cut move. Also, "grande illusion" renoir[1] gets many more google hits than "grand illusion" renoir[2]. Relisted. Favonian (talk) 18:49, 13 July 2012 (UTC). Film Fan (talk) 16:42, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose per WP:UE. This also sounds to be a more stylistic preference. The English title is used throughout by Anglophone cinematic scholars. Thus it is an acceptable form, and just because other anglophone countries use otherwise seems arbitrary rationale to move the page. The same reason could be justified to keep it as is. (talk) 04:24, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
    • USA is the only country to have used Grand Illusion, and it is now on home video in the US under the title La Grande Illusion. WP:CCC. Outdated articles are hardly a reason to ignore the Wikipedia guidelines. Film Fan (talk) 10:20, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
      • "USA is the only country to have used Grand Illusion" - This is blatantly incorrect as there is no "official" designated use by country. Total Film uses the English language title and they are a British magazine[3]. The DVD release does not set the standard for a particular country's use and the English title is not at all ambiguous throughout the Anglosphere. I'm not citing any "outdated articles", whatever you mean by that. Not to mention, I actually cited a WP guideline and you didn't, so it is ironic for you to invoke the notion that I am somehow ignoring them. Plenty of scholarly sources use the English title, and as I said previously, the preference for the French title in English can only otherwise be arbitrary. (talk) 20:17, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
        • The UK title is exclusively La Grande Illusion and has never been Grand Illusion. Total Film clearly has an old page for its American readers, as it has many. It also has a page for its UK users[4] and the reviews on the site are also titled La Grande Illusion[5][6]. Grand Illusion is exclusively American. Also, the fact that it is currently distributed as La Grande Illusion in the US is an indicator that this is currently the preferred title in the US and the title most recognized by the US public. Also, referring again to my original argument, "grande illusion" renoir[7] gets many more google hits than "grand illusion" renoir[8]. There is not a single English-speaking country that currently distributes the film as Grand Illusion. You cannot ignore these facts. Film Fan (talk) 00:32, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
          • What do you mean "clearly"? It says the UK release date. You're assuming that there is an official title which there isn't. The film has been distributed by its English title in the US. That's not only evidenced by its region 1 DVD release but it's recent re-release and various film posters. The point being that because the English title is acceptable and is currently used by the article, attempting to change it is an arbitrary preference. Maybe your argument about distribution in the US would rebuke the acceptability of the current title if it weren't wrong. (talk) 02:15, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
            • The official UK title is La Grande Illusion[9]. Any Brit familiar with the film knows this, and you will not find a shred of evidence to the contrary. But official titles are irrelevant, anyway. It's consensus titles that matter. Are you not familiar with the Wikipedia guidelines? The current R1 release is called La Grande Illusion[10], not Grand Illusion. Read my previous reply. Film Fan (talk) 11:35, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
              • There is no "official title" unless the original distributors commissioned by the original studio execs say so. The titles you are beckoning to are re-releases, most of which on DVD and VHS. That is not an official title. I already showed you evidence that the film has been known by its English title in the UK and being a limey myself, I have known it by it's English title so please refrain from speaking for me. That doesn't even matter because given that there are two acceptable forms in English either one can be used. You are assuming that there is only one region 1 release which is obviously wrong. The Criterion Collection released the film under its English title. There is no standard title within each country as evidenced by the different uses displayed in both the US and the UK. But that is still besides the point. It is beyond a reasonable doubt that the English title is an acceptable form as displayed by various releases and posters. Therefore, attempting to change it to an alternative title can only be justified by arbitrary and preferential grounds which is not rationale to change a title based on Wikipedia's guidelines. If you're asking me if I am familiar with Wikipedia's guidelines, do bother to cite which one you are referring to. Otherwise, I can't assume you're exactly familiar with them either. (talk) 20:12, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
                • The official UK title is La Grande Illusion and it has never been known as Grand Illusion in the UK, and Brits never call themselves "limeys". Grand Illusion was clearly the US consensus title in the 90s when Criterion released it, but that was the 90s (times have changed; check the Google hits), and that is also ignoring the fact that the USA is but one of the English-speaking countries. You are flat-out ignoring my evidence and the Wikipedia guidelines. WP:NCF. Film Fan (talk) 21:14, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
                  • I'll ignore your hegemonic presumption that you know what every Briton does in any particular situation, given that I am one myself. You still don't seem to get that there is no "official title" in the UK, unless the distributor is directly commissioned by the studio. So I will no longer bother to give your persistent false claim the benefit of the doubt. You also keep pointing out that the US is the only anglophonic country that uses this form as if it is any rationale, which it isn't. So, if your entire argument rests upon a "trend", which is also not rationale to change the title, you're still wrong. Janus Films released the film under it's English title four years ago.[11] Also, please point out which part of WP:NCF that you've convinced yourself I do not understand. (talk) 01:14, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
                    • The official and only UK title is La Grande Illusion. It is currently distributed in the US under the title La Grande Illusion. This title also gets many more Google hits. You want to be looking at the foreign language film section, of course. Film Fan (talk) 09:58, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
                      • I'm going to ignore your mantra of "official title" since you obviously keep repeating it without reading what I am saying. But anyway, there is no way to determine which title is more common. The French title gets only a fraction of more hits on Google, and that doesn't filter the foreign language countries that use the French title (including the francophonic ones). So I'm still not convinced. (talk) 15:09, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
                        • 154k is a lot more than 84k. Film Fan (talk) 16:27, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
                          • Like I said, searching for the French title will bring up pages from other countries that alternately use the French title (along with unanimously in France). Using Google is not a reliable litmus test, especially in this case. (talk) 22:28, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
                            • Okay, but La Grande Illusion is the only UK title and the most-used title in the US. Enough said. Film Fan (talk) 11:51, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose This translation is used in numerous scholarly texts and reviews of the film. MarnetteD | Talk 00:27, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
    • See my reply above. WP:CCC. La Grande Illusion has become the consensus title. Film Fan (talk) 20:10, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. I've always preferred to use the original title rather than a translation; using the French title also drops a disambiguator which is a nice added bonus. GRAPPLE X 00:38, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose – The film was released in a large market with an English title, remains available there using the English name, and is known using that name in some substantial number of reliable sources. This is the English Wikipedia, so English is preferable. A move in the opposite direction is currently undergoing discussion (with only support expressed so far) at Talk:Das blaue Licht. There is a redirect in place, so people will find the article under either name. It doesn't seem too important either way. —BarrelProof (talk) 16:50, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
    • Yes, this is indeed English Wikipedia, where all the titles are supposed to be the titles most used in English-speaking countries, which--for this film--is La Grande Illusion. Can you deny anything I have said there? Film Fan (talk) 19:03, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as nominator. This could hardly be a more obvious change. Film Fan (talk) 21:14, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Grand Illusion just sounds very odd, maybe because "grande" doesn't mean "grand" in this context. There are two in-print English-language monographs devoted to the film, this and this, and they both use La Grande Illusion - a sign of the times? And in a large English-language source, it is surely the French title here which actually wins on the "recognizabilty" and "precision" test (WP:NC) - it doesn't need disambiguation or a qualifier! Lampernist (talk) 08:34, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support per nom. "Use English" does not mean "slavishly translate everything into English even if this term is not universally used in English-speaking countries". The original name should be preferred if it is commonly used in English-speaking countries. -- Necrothesp (talk) 14:00, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. I see the film referred to (in English sources) as La Grande Illusion more often than Grand Illusion. --Lobo (talk) 21:36, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. La Grande Illusion translates as "the great illusion."[12] So the current title doesn't sit well with those who know any French. This film will soon be re-released to the U.S. market under the proposed title.[13] There is book to accompany the film entitled La Grande Illusion: (Jean Renoir, 1937) (2009). Kauffner (talk) 06:01, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

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I'm not so bold as to request a move[edit]

especially after 3 tries before me, but is "La Grande Illusion" really the proper capitalization? I'd think the proper French title would be La grande illusion. Schissel | Sound the Note! 10:43, 10 July 2017 (UTC)