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Jean Renoir returns to the material of La grande illusion—French prisoners in German hands. Where Illusion showed international class solidarities that transcended nationalisms in World War I, The Elusive Corporal is about the solidarity of men—Frenchmen—facing a common ordeal. An ironic comedy of fake French heroics and real French heroism, the film is delicate and witty and features a delightful performance from Jean-Pierre Cassel as the corporal who keeps trying and trying to get back to Paris.

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