6.8/10
118
5 user 3 critic

Promise at Dawn (1970)

A Soviet silent-film actress (Melina Mercouri) raises her illegitimate son, who becomes the writer Romain Gary (Assaf Dayan).

Director:

Jules Dassin

Writers:

Jules Dassin, Romain Gary (novel) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Melina Mercouri ... Nina Kacewa
Assi Dayan ... Romain Kacew age 25
Didier Haudepin Didier Haudepin ... Romain Kacew age 15
François Raffoul François Raffoul ... Romain Kacew age 9
Despo Diamantidou ... Aniela (as Despo)
Jean Martin ... Igor Igorevitch
Fernand Gravey ... Jean-Michel Serusier
Jacqueline Porel Jacqueline Porel ... Madame Mailer
Elspeth March ... Fat Woman
Maria Machado ... Nathalie Lissenko
Julie Dassin Julie Dassin ... Romain's Friend
René Clermont René Clermont ... Mr. Piekielny
Carol Cole Carol Cole ... Louison - a nurse
Marina Nestora Marina Nestora ... Mariette
Audrey Berindey Audrey Berindey ... Valentine Mailer
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Storyline

A Soviet silent-film actress (Melina Mercouri) raises her illegitimate son, who becomes the writer Romain Gary (Assaf Dayan).

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An unforgettable Mercouri experience

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 November 1970 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Løfte ved daggry See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$433,740
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Nathalie Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vittorio De Sica was originally signed to direct, and he planned for either Ingrid Bergman or Ava Gardner to star. See more »

Connections

Alternate-language version of Promise at Dawn (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A single mother raises her son in impossible circumstances first in Leningrad, then Krakow and then France and is over-ambitious about him but never gives in.
22 December 2014 | by clanciaiSee all my reviews

This is a delicate film on a delicate story, all true, the story of the author Romain Gary and his mother, a very determined but hopelessly impractical woman, who by her imagination tricks herself and her son through impossible difficulties in Leningrad, Poland and France from after the revolution to the second world war. It's one of the most famous mother portraits in the history of literature, and the film renders it justice on the whole. Jules Dassin was himself from a Russian Jewish family, he knew this background and environment by heart, and Melina Mercouri is perfect as the total mother. Jules Dassin plays himself the silent screen star and director in Leningrad and succeeds in having fun in quite a few comedy scenes. Some scenes are simply overwhelming in their human candor and beauty and are very appropriate illustrations of the book. Romain Gary himself would have been pleased with this film - it would be interesting to know if he said anything about it.


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