Tant pis. Because I have to say that if you have been looking at Gabin's mug on the cover of the Criterion Grand Illusion for almost a decade [as I did] without submitting to its charms, resist no longer. Sure, it's the Ur-thrilling prison escape movie, and Renoir's camera work is dreamy.
But here's the real reason why: Erich von Fucking Stroheim. As the geranium-tending Captain von Rauffenstein, he shares a relationship with Pierre Fresnay's Captain de Boeldieu that is seven kinds of delicious. These two proud aristocrats are well aware they are a dying breed, and they're just so damned civilized about it.