• It is an intelligent prison-film and drama—the most common words used by critics heaping praise on it are “humanist”, ”anti-war” and “graceful”. Graceful is the only one that refers to style- putting it candidly it’s a masterpiece because of Renoir’s tracking shots
  • I’m stealing from ebert here- he says “the camera doesn’t point or intrude—it glides”
  • Behind the intelligence in the narrative, the great acting by Gabin, Dalio and von Stroheim, there is some great parallel editing, especially in the beginning, mirroring the mise-en-scene of the French with the German (poster slogans, posters of women) to show how alike they are
  • A brilliant shot framed in window and then Renoir pulls back to resume action- this is certainly a Renoir stylistic trademark
  • A brilliant film
  • Masterpiece