Directed by Jean Renoir

Directed by Jean Renoir

13 Episodes

The son of the great impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Jean Renoir was also a master of his medium: cinema. After making his mark in the early thirties with two very different films, the anarchic send-up of the bourgeoisie BOUDU SAVED FROM DROWNING and the popular-front Gorky adaptation THE LOWER DEPTHS, Renoir closed out the decade with two critical humanistic studies of French society that routinely turn up on lists of the greatest films ever made: GRAND ILLUSION and THE RULES OF THE GAME (the former was celebrated in its time, but the latter was trashed by critics and audiences—until history provided vindication). After a brief, unfulfilling Hollywood stint during World War II, Renoir traveled to India to make his first Technicolor film, THE RIVER, and then returned to Europe in the early fifties to direct three visually dazzling explorations of theater, THE GOLDEN COACH, FRENCH CANCAN, and ELENA AND HER MEN. Renoir persisted in his cinematic pursuits until the late sixties, when he decided to dedicate himself solely to writing, leaving the future of the medium to those who looked to him in reverence.

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Directed by Jean Renoir
  • La chienne

    Episode 1

    Directed by Jean Renoir • 1931 • France

    Jean Renoir's ruthless love triangle tale, his second sound film, is a true precursor to his brilliantly bitter The Rules of the Game, displaying all of the filmmaker's visual genius and fully imbued with his profound humanity. Michel Simon cuts a tragic f...

  • On purge bébé

    Episode 2

    Directed by Jean Renoir • 1931 • France
    Starring Michel Simon

    Based on a comic one-act play by Georges Feydeau, the hour-long ON PURGE BÉBÉ is Jean Renoir’s first sound film. It was made in 1931, the same year as LA CHIENNE.

  • Boudu Saved from Drowning

    Episode 3

    Directed by Jean Renoir • 1932 • France

    Michel Simon gives one of the most memorable performances in screen history as Boudu, a Parisian tramp who takes a suicidal plunge into the Seine and is rescued by a well-to-do bookseller, Edouard Lestingois (Charles Granval). The Lestingois family decides...

  • Toni
    Episode 4


    Episode 4

    Directed by Jean Renoir • 1935 • France

    This multi-lingual drama from Jean Renoir follows Toni, an Italian immigrant who gets entangled in many relationships after moving to the south of France.

  • The Lower Depths

    Episode 5

    Directed by Jean Renoir • 1936 • France

    In Jean Renoir's lightened adaptation of Maxim Gorky's play, a thief and a destitute Baron form a friendship as the inhabitants of a Parisian slum go about their lives.

  • A Day in the Country

    Episode 6

    Directed by Jean Renoir • 1936 • France

    This bittersweet film from Jean Renoir, based on a story by Guy de Maupassant, is a tenderly comic idyll about a city family’s picnic in the French countryside and the romancing of the mother and grown daughter by two local men. Conceived as a short feat...

  • Grand Illusion

    Episode 7

    Directed by Jean Renoir • 1937 • France
    Starring Jean Gabin, Pierre Fresnay, Erich von Stroheim

    One of the very first prison escape movies, GRAND ILLUSION is hailed as one of the greatest films ever made. Jean Renoir’s antiwar masterpiece stars Jean Gabin and Pierre Fresnay as French soldiers he...

  • La bête humaine

    Episode 8

    Directed by Jean Renoir • 1938 • France

    Based on the classic Emile Zola novel, Jean Renoir's La Běte Humaine was one of the legendary director's greatest popular successes, and earned star Jean Gabin a permanent place in the hearts of his countrymen. Part poetic realism, part film noir, the fi...

  • The Rules of the Game

    Episode 9

    Directed by Jean Renoir • 1939 • France

    Considered one of the greatest films ever made, The Rules of the Game (La règle du jeu), by Jean Renoir, is a scathing critique of corrupt French society cloaked in a comedy of manners in which a weekend at a marquis' country château lays bare some ugly tr...

  • The River
    Episode 10

    The River

    Episode 10

    Directed by Jean Renoir • 1951 • France, United Kingdom, India, United States
    Starring Nora Swinburne, Esmond Knight, Arthur Shields

    Director Jean Renoir’s entrancing first color feature, shot entirely on location in India, is a visual tour de force. Based on the novel by Rumer Godden, the fi...

  • The Golden Coach

    Episode 11

    Directed by Jean Renoir • 1953 • Italy

    The Golden Coach (Le Carrosse d'or) is a ravishing eighteenth-century comic fantasy about a viceroy who receives an exquisite golden coach, and gives it to the tempestuous star of a touring commedia dell'arte company. Master director Jean Renoir's sumptuo...

  • French Cancan

    Episode 12

    Directed by Jean Renoir • 1955 • France, Italy

    Nineteenth-century Paris comes vibrantly alive in Jean Renoir's exhilarating tale of the opening of the world-renowned Moulin Rouge. Jean Gabin plays the wily impresario Danglard, who makes the cancan all the rage while juggling the love of two be...

  • Elena and Her Men

    Episode 13

    Directed by Jean Renoir • 1956 • France, Italy

    Set amid the military maneuvers and Quatorze Juillet carnivals of turn-of-the-century France, Jean Renoir's delirious romantic comedy Elena and her Men (Elena et les hommes) stars a radiant Ingrid Bergman as a beautiful, but impoverished, Polish pri...