[The opening action of La Marseillaise] sets defining boundaries for the film, creates the tone of … revolution-as-theater, and allows Renoir to break from both the conventions of war and revolution films and the strictures of this particular story line. (p. 36)
A situation which recurs in many films of Renoir is the encounter and mutual understanding between figures from widely disparate classes or ways of life. The aristocratic commander of the Marseille forts, who walks onto the scene just as the main fort is successfully occupied, meets and comes to respect a leader of what he had formerly regarded as the common rabble of France: another Renoir touch…. The main tension—and...
(The entire section is 414 words.)