1937, TSPDT Rank #24
Jean Renoir was basically the master of the classical French directors. His films usually contain visual poetry, introspective look at class status, light comedy, and a strong regard for human nature. Grand Illusion is no exception, with special emphasis on the latter.
La grande illusion ... the title refers to the invisible boundaries between countries and class. The illusion that we are all anything other than humans, members of the same race, making war against each other unwise and futile. So this is an anti-war film yes, but it doesn't shove that message in your face with terror or other manipulative means. Instead we are shown what humans from different classes or nationalities can do for each other in the face of great odds. Its a great film that will give you hope for humanity, and make you long for all wars to end.