|Octave, André, and Christine.|
Directed by Jean Renoir
Produced by Jean Renoir
Written by Jean Renoir and Carl Koch
Starring Marcel Dalio, Nora Gregor, Roland Toutain, Mila Parely, Gaston Modot, Julien Carette, Paulette Dubost, and Jean Renoir
Plot Summary: A group of people from both ends of the social spectrum gather at a French chateau for a hunting party, spawning a series of problems, including a murder.
Significance: This satire of French society is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, and it has been featured in the Sight & Sound Poll (#4 in 2012 critics' poll and as high as #2 in the '72, '82, and '92 polls). Upon its original release, the French government took issue with film's depiction of the upper class, and the film was banned in France for two decades.
Thoughts: It's a delightful farce, which seems like a precursor to Ingmar Bergman's equally amusing Smiles of a Summer Night (1955). The film is smart, witty, and even features a scene-stealing performance by none other than Renoir himself. Despite a slow start, I was hooked by the last act of the narrative. There's a great deal of chaos and hysterical antics that play out among these houseguests and their host, and, as a fan of screwball comedies and satire, this was a very enjoyable comedy with a twist of dark humor. I highly recommend it, especially for movie buffs.