#63 Jean Renoir Ranked List
Here's a director who doesn't bowl me over, to borrow Martin's words, and unlike Melville, I don't see reason to do a deep exploration to find out why. I'm out of sync with a number of classics, but I can understand the love for 8˝ or Dr. Strangelove. There's a definite vision pushing cinema to new places. I don't see that with Renoir, in particular with The Rules of the Game, which is a perfectly agreeable piece of dry white toast.
I've seen 16 films by Renoir, most without connecting that they're tied to the same filmmaker. (I tend to blur Renoir with René Clair, and when I pulled up this thread I expected to find And Then There Were None.) My favorite is The Grand Illusion, until the final 20 minutes. The two I'm most likely to recommend are Swamp Water, which I think only Martin has seen even though it stars Walter Brennan, Walter Huston, Anne Baxter and Dana Andrews. and This Land is Mine, which I don't think anyone here has seen, even though it stars Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Hara and George Sanders.
As for what to watch, there are a number of possibilities, none of which stand out as something that might change my opinion of Renoir. One of my side lists I'm working on is anything that appears on at least 5 ICM lists and that means Toni
(1935) and The Golden Coach
(1952). I might also watch Elena and Her Men
(1956) because it stars Ingrid Bergman and/or The Diary of a Chambermaid
(1946) because it stars Paulette Goddard.