The Rules of the Game (original French title: La Règle du jeu) is a 1939 French film directed by Jean Renoir. It features an ensemble cast of Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost, Mila Parély, Marcel Dalio, Julien Carette, Roland Toutain, Gaston Modot, Pierre Magnier and Renoir. The film is a comedy of manners that depicts members of upper-class French society and their servants just before the beginning of World War II, showing their moral callousness on the eve of impending destruction.
The Rules of the Game was the most expensive French film up to that time, with its original budget of 2.5 million francs increased to over five million. When directing the film, Renoir and cinematographer Jean Bachelet made use of deep-focus cinematography and long shots during which the camera is constantly moving, both sophisticated cinematic techniques in 1939.
Renoir's career in France was at its pinnacle in 1939 and The Rules of the Game was eagerly anticipated; however, its premiere was met with scorn and disapproval by both critics and audiences. Renoir reduced the film's running time from 113 minutes to 85, but even then the film was a critical and financial disaster. In October 1939, it was banned by the wartime French government for "having an undesirable influence over the young."
For many years, the 85-minute version was the only one available, but despite this its reputation slowly grew. In 1956, boxes of original material were rediscovered and a reconstructed version of the film premiered that year at the Venice Film Festival, with only a minor scene from Renoir's first cut missing. Since then, The Rules of the Game has often been called one of the greatest films in the history of cinema. Numerous film critics and directors have praised it highly, citing it as an inspiration for their own work....LESS