Behind the Scenes of the Movie Grand Illusian Part 1

About the film Grand Illusion, a plot summary of one of the greatest movies ever made.



The Story: Near the French front in W.W. I, Lieutenant Marechal (Jean Gabin) is on his way to meet his girl friend, but his plans are interrupted when he is assigned to fly the aristocratic Captain de Boeldieu (Pierre Fresnay) on a reconnaissance mission behind enemy lines. During the mission their plane is shot down by German Commandant von Rauffenstein (Erich Von Stroheim).

Von Rauffenstein, an aristocrat like De Boeldieu, later invites the captured fliers to lunch, where he develops a rapport with De Boeldieu, while Marechal, a simple mechanic who has worked his way through the ranks, talks shop with a German officer who is his counterpart. The gentlemanly lunch is interrupted when Von Rauffenstein's subordinate arrives to take the captured fliers to prison.

At the prison camp the two men find themselves sharing quarters with the good-natured Rosenthal (Marcel Dalio) and a group of French officers who are digging an escape tunnel. Ironically, on the day before the officers plan to use the tunnel, they are transferred to another camp.

After a bewildering succession of transfers, Marechal and De Boeldieu find themselves at a high-security fortress reserved for men who have participated in escape attempts. Rosenthal has also been transferred there, and the commandant in charge is Von Rauffenstein, who has been severely injured and removed from flying duty.

De Boeldieu and Marechal immediately plan another escape, with De Boeldieu nobly distracting the guards while Marechal and Rosenthal climb the walls. The escape is a success, but Von Rauffenstein is forced to shoot De Boeldieu, who later dies in his arms. While Von Rauffenstein suffers over killing an enemy who has become his friend, the simple soldiers Marechal and Rosenthal make their way to the Swiss border.

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