Jean Renoir

The Rules of the Game

The Rules of the Game

Considered one of the greatest films ever made, The Rules of the Game (La règle du jeu), by Jean Renoir, is a scathing critique of corrupt French society cloaked in a comedy of manners in which a weekend at a marquis’ country château lays bare some ugly truths about a group of haut bourgeois acquaintances. The film has had a tumultuous history: it was subjected to cuts after the violent response of the premiere audience in 1939, and the original negative was destroyed during World War II; it wasn’t reconstructed until 1959. That version, which has stunned viewers for decades, is presented here.

Film Info

  • Jean Renoir
  • France
  • 1939
  • 106 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • French
  • Spine #216

Special Features

  • High-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Introduction to the film by director Jean Renoir
  • Audio commentary written by film scholar Alexander Sesonske and read by filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich
  • Comparison of the film's two endings
  • Selected-scene analysis by Renoir historian Chris Faulkner
  • Excerpts from Jean Renoir, le patron: La Règle et l’exception (1966), a French television program by filmmaker Jacques Rivette
  • Part one of Jean Renoir, a two-part 1993 BBC documentary by film critic David Thompson
  • Video essay about the film’s production, release, and 1959 reconstruction
  • Interview with film critic Olivier Curchod
  • Interview from a 1965 episode of the French television series Les écrans de la ville in which Jean Gaborit and Jacques Durand discuss their reconstruction and rerelease of the film
  • Interviews with set designer Max Douy, Renoir’s son, Alain; and actress Mila Parély
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by Sesonske; writings by Jean Renoir, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bertrand Tavernier, and François Truffaut; and tributes to the film by J. Hoberman, Kent Jones, Paul Schrader, Wim Wenders, Robert Altman, and others

New cover by Edward Sorel

Purchase Options

Collector's Sets

Collector's Set

Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films

Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films

DVD Box Set

50 Discs

$650.00

Special Features

  • High-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Introduction to the film by director Jean Renoir
  • Audio commentary written by film scholar Alexander Sesonske and read by filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich
  • Comparison of the film's two endings
  • Selected-scene analysis by Renoir historian Chris Faulkner
  • Excerpts from Jean Renoir, le patron: La Règle et l’exception (1966), a French television program by filmmaker Jacques Rivette
  • Part one of Jean Renoir, a two-part 1993 BBC documentary by film critic David Thompson
  • Video essay about the film’s production, release, and 1959 reconstruction
  • Interview with film critic Olivier Curchod
  • Interview from a 1965 episode of the French television series Les écrans de la ville in which Jean Gaborit and Jacques Durand discuss their reconstruction and rerelease of the film
  • Interviews with set designer Max Douy, Renoir’s son, Alain; and actress Mila Parély
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by Sesonske; writings by Jean Renoir, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bertrand Tavernier, and François Truffaut; and tributes to the film by J. Hoberman, Kent Jones, Paul Schrader, Wim Wenders, Robert Altman, and others

New cover by Edward Sorel

The Rules of the Game
Cast
Marcel Dalio
Marquis Robert de La Chesnaye
Nora Gregor
Christine de La Chesnaye
Roland Toutain
André Jurieux
Jean Renoir
Octave
Mila Parély
Geneviève de Marras
Odette Talazac
Charlotte de La Plante
Pierre Magnier
The general
Pierre Nay
M. de Saint-Aubin
Richard Francœur
La Bruyère
Claire Gérard
Mme La Bruyère
Anne Mayen
Jackie
Paulette Dubost
Lisette
Gaston Modot
Schumacher
Julien Carette
Marceau
Eddy Debray
Corneille
Léon Larive
Cook
Lise Élina
Radio reporter
Henri Cartier-Bresson
English domestic
Credits
Director
Jean Renoir
Producer
Claude Renoir Sr.
Screenplay
Jean Renoir
with the collaboration of
Carl Koch
Dialogue
Jean Renoir
Assistant director
André Zwobada
Assistant director
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Director of photography
Jean Bachelet
Cinematography
Jacques Lemare
Cinematography
Jean-Paul Alphen
Cinematography
Alain Renoir
Production design
Eugène Lourié
Production design
Max Douy
Editing
Marguerite Renoir
Assistant editor
Marthe Huguet
Sound
Joseph de Bretagne
Still photography
Sam Lévin
Music
Mozart
Music
Monsigny
Music
Salabert
Music
Saint-Saëns
Music
Chopin
Music arranged by
Roger Désormière
Music arranged by
Joseph Kosma
Production manager
Pillon
Administration
Camille François
Costumes
Chanel

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Explore

Jean Renoir

Writer, Director

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.