Jean Renoir

La chienne

La chienne

Jean Renoir’s ruthless love triangle tale, his second sound film, is a true precursor to his brilliantly bitter The Rules of the Game, displaying all of the filmmaker’s visual genius and fully imbued with his profound humanity. Michel Simon cuts a tragic figure as an unhappily married cashier and amateur painter who becomes so smitten with a prostitute that he refuses to see the obvious: that she and her pimp boyfriend are taking advantage of him. Renoir’s elegant compositions and camera movements carry this twisting narrative—a stinging commentary on class and sexual divisions—to an unforgettably ironic conclusion.

Film Info

  • Jean Renoir
  • France
  • 1931
  • 96 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.19:1
  • French
  • Spine #818

Special Features

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Introduction to the film from 1961 by director Jean Renoir
  • New interview with Renoir scholar Christopher Faulkner
  • New restoration of On purge bébé (1931), Renoir’s first sound film, also starring Michel Simon
  • Jean Renoir le patron: “Michel Simon” a ninety-five-minute 1967 French television program featuring a conversation between Renoir and Simon, directed by Jacques Rivette
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Ginette Vincendeau

New cover by Blutch

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Introduction to the film from 1961 by director Jean Renoir
  • New interview with Renoir scholar Christopher Faulkner
  • New restoration of On purge bébé (1931), Renoir’s first sound film, also starring Michel Simon
  • Jean Renoir le patron: “Michel Simon” a ninety-five-minute 1967 French television program featuring a conversation between Renoir and Simon, directed by Jacques Rivette
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Ginette Vincendeau

New cover by Blutch

La chienne
Cast
Michel Simon
Maurice Legrand
Janie Marèse
Lulu
Georges Flamant
Dédé
Magdeleine Bérubet
Adèle Legrand
Roger Gaillard
Sergeant Alexis Godard
Credits
Director
Jean Renoir
Based on the novel by
Georges de La Fouchardière
Scenario and adaptation by
Jean Renoir
Scenario and adaptation by
André Mouézy-Éon
Produced by
Pierre Braunberger
Produced by
Roger Richebé
Cinematography by
Theodor Sparkuhl
Edited by
Marguerite Renoir

From The Current

The Lifelong Friendship of Jean Renoir and Michel Simon
The Lifelong Friendship of Jean Renoir and Michel Simon

The late 1920s and early 1930s were wonderfully productive years for Jean Renoir and Michel Simon, a simpatico director-actor duo who produced four films together: Tire au flanc (which gave Simon his first starring role), On purge bébé, La chienne,…

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La chienne: He, She, and the Other Guy
La chienne: He, She, and the Other Guy

Although afflicted by on-set drama and offscreen tragedy, Jean Renoir’s La Chienne shows the director’s early mastery of sound cinema and features the trademarks that would come to define his style.


By Ginette Vincendeau

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Guillermo del Toro’s Guide to the Collection
Guillermo del Toro’s Guide to the Collection

Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro shares heartfelt appreciations for eleven of his favorite films in the collection.

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Renoir in Minneapolis

Repertory Picks

Renoir in Minneapolis

This weekend, Jean Renoir’s La chienne will screen at the Trylon microcinema, in Minneapolis, as part of a monthlong series dedicated to the French master’s groundbreaking work in the 1930s. A thematic precursor to The Rules of the Game, which wa…

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Explore

Jean Renoir

Director

Jean Renoir
Jean Renoir

The son of the great impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Jean Renoir was also a master of his medium: cinema. After making his mark in the early thirties with two very different films, the anarchic send-up of the bourgeoisie Boudu Saved from Drowning and the popular-front Gorky adaptation The Lower Depths, Renoir closed out the decade with two critical humanistic studies of French society that routinely turn up on lists of the greatest films ever made: Grand Illusion and The Rules of the Game (the former was celebrated in its time, but the latter was trashed by critics and audiences—until history provided vindication). After a brief, unfulfilling Hollywood stint during World War II, Renoir traveled to India to make his first Technicolor film, The River, and then returned to Europe in the early fifties to direct three visually dazzling explorations of theater, The Golden Coach, French Cancan, and Elena and Her Men. Renoir persisted in his cinematic pursuits until the late sixties, when, after the completion of The Little Theater of Jean Renoir, a collection of three short films, he decided to dedicate himself solely to writing, leaving the future of the medium to those who looked to him in reverence.