• Back to #1: Grand Illusion

    By Jonathan Turell

    Grandillusion_large

    When we launched the Criterion Collection on DVD nearly twenty years ago, we picked Jean Renoir’s Grand Illusion as the film we wanted to carry spine #1. As most of you know, the rights to distribute movies can change over time, and we lost ours for Grand Illusion about a dozen years ago. The DVD has been out of print since then. While we still hope to reacquire those rights, we are thrilled that we are able to present the Criterion edition of Grand Illusion on the Criterion Channel at FilmStruck starting today, in celebration of the eightieth anniversary of the film’s release. In the film description from the original Janus Films’ catalog there was a quote from Orson Welles: “If I could save only one film, it would be Grand Illusion.” For those of you who haven’t given FilmStruck and the Criterion Channel a try, this seems like a great opportunity. Our channel is the streaming home for the largest selection of Criterion movies anywhere, and we are very excited about the response we’ve been getting to our original productions, including three ongoing series—Adventures in Moviegoing, Observations on Film Art, and Meet the Filmmakers—that provide a very different look into the world of movies.

4 comments

  • By hep-classic07
    July 06, 2017
    04:54 PM

    I think this is the first classic French film I saw. Jean Renoir was such an artist with a camera, really the art behind le septieme arte.
    Reply
  • By Michael H.
    July 07, 2017
    11:20 AM

    Turrell mistakenly says that "we launched the Criterion Collection on DVD twenty-one years ago", but it's only been 19 years and a few months since the first DVD in the Collection on March 31, 1998. And that distinction goes to THE 400 BLOWS and AMARCORD.
    Reply
    • By Thomas W.
      July 07, 2017
      12:30 PM

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Criterion_Collection_DVD_and_Blu-ray_releases Spine #1: Grand Illusion
    • By markb
      July 09, 2017
      10:56 PM

      Grand Illusion is spine #1 but was delayed prior to release so it didn't end up being first in stores.