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Port of Shadows (1938)

Le quai des brumes (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 29 October 1939 (USA)
Trailer
2:25 | Trailer
A military deserter finds love and trouble (and a small dog) in a smoky French port city.

Director:

Marcel Carné

Writers:

Pierre Dumarchais (novel) (as Pierre Mac Orlan), Jacques Prévert (scenario and dialogue)
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6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean Gabin ... Jean
Michel Simon ... Zabel
Michèle Morgan ... Nelly
Pierre Brasseur ... Lucien
Édouard Delmont Édouard Delmont ... Panama (as Delmont)
Raymond Aimos Raymond Aimos ... Quart Vittel (as Aimos)
Robert Le Vigan ... Le peintre (as Le Vigan)
René Génin René Génin ... Le docteur (as Genin)
Marcel Pérès Marcel Pérès ... Le chauffeur (as Perez)
Jenny Burnay Jenny Burnay ... L'amie de Lucien
Roger Legris ... Le garçon d'hôtel (as Legris)
Martial Rèbe Martial Rèbe ... Le client
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Storyline

Life's a rotten business, says Jean, a deserter who arrives at night in Le Havre, looking to leave the country. He lucks into civilian clothes, a little bit of money, a passport, and a dog, and he also meets Nelly, a 17-year-old who's grown up too fast. She's the object of lust of men: including a boyfriend Maurice, her putative protector Zabel, and Lucien, a local hood. Jean falls for her, faces down Lucien, and gives her courage to stand on her own feet. A ship is leaving for Venezuela; can at least one of them be on it, or is that just a dream? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

...A Story Which the French Have Put On the Screen With Daring Skill! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

29 October 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Port of Shadows See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,618, 16 September 2012

Gross USA:

$27,389

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$39,623
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ciné-Alliance See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some may notice that the Le Havre setting, while realistic, seems to have a slightly strange perspective. This is because the streets were constructed with a "false perspective" technique: the buildings were gradually scaled down in size the farther they go into the background; when shot with the proper camera lens, such a street will seem to stretch away from the camera up to four times longer than it actually does. See more »

Goofs

When Jean and Nelly have their picture taken, they are standing close together. After a brief cut to the photographer who instructs them not to move anymore, there is a clear gap between them. See more »

Quotes

Jean: Ever see a woman in love with a soldier? She loves him when he parades in step with the music. But when he shows up alone, you should see the look on her face! I don't even know why I'm tellin' ya' this. A man and a woman can't get along. They don't talk the same. They don't use the same vocabulary.
Nelly: Maybe so, but they can love each other.
Jean: Oh? Have you ever loved someone?
Nelly: Not really.
Jean: So?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Soldaten og Jenny (1947) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Engaging, provoking theatre
17 September 2007 | by Polaris_DiBSee all my reviews

Interesting what a contrast this movie makes to Carne's "The Children of Paradise". The two are almost complete opposites where mise-en-scene is concerned, and yet more interesting is that they both show a filmmaker with a craft of form and expression that rises beyond most other filmmakers, including his contemporaries.

"Port of Shadows" is about a French army deserter (Jean Gabin, wonderful as usual) who attempts to flee the nation in order to finally begin a life away from the bad luck that's always held him. He appears at a small port town, immediately falls in love, and sets off a chain of events that show an inherent fatalism with a sense of humor, tragedy, and substance.

This movie has one of those scripts that's very appealing in the way that it sends characters wandering through the mists, and yet somehow everything comes together and ties up all loose ends by the end. Adding to it the moody, brooding cinematography filled with fog and smoke, and one can't help but immerse oneself gladly into a different world. Also, Carne adds a sense of theatricality and the Carnivalesque that even Fellini couldn't compare to.

This is definitely a film that well deserves being called "a classic of French cinema." --PolarisDiB


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