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La Grande Illusion Anniversary Restoration
Manish Agarwal , April 5th, 2012 07:42

Anti-war classic returns to cinemas this weekend

Famously banned by both the Nazis and the French, Jean Renoir's humorous, humanist 1937 landmark La Grande Illusion has been spruced up for a 75th birthday re-release. Set in a First World War prisoner camp, and later referenced by The Great Escape and Casablanca, the movie's forward-thinking riffs on class and theme of friendship across national boundaries still resonate today, as do its darker undercurrents.

The digital restoration was carried out by La Cinémathèque de Toulouse and StudioCanal, who explain that "scanning the original nitrate at 4K means that the film will be preserved now for at least a century." This new version opens across the UK on Friday; a full list of screenings can be found here. It will also be available on DVD and (for the first time) Blu-ray from April 23.