Le Jour se lève (Daybreak) (1939)
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Movie InfoMarcel Carne and Jacques Prevert's classic of French poetic realism stars Jean Gabin in one of his most famous roles as Francois, a rough, barrel-chested loner who hides out in his apartment awaiting for the police to arrive. Francois has killed a man in a crime of passion, the slimy lothario Valentin (Jules Berry). As he listens in the darkness of his Normandy apartment to the police sirens closing in and getting louder, he recalls the two women that he loved -- Francoise (Jacqueline Laurent) and Clara (Arletty) -- and the evil Valentin, who stole both their hearts and forced Francois into this melancholy plight. The film was later re-made in Hollywood as The Long Night. … More
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Critic Reviews for Le Jour se lève (Daybreak)
Possibly the best of the Carné-Prévert films, certainly their collaboration at its most classically pure.
The pity of it all seems slightly forced, the melodramatics too obvious.
The screenplay is by Jacques Prevert, the most accomplished dialogist of the period, and the famous sets, with their overtones of German expressionism, are by Alexander Trauner.
Serious film fans will appreciate the 4K restoration of this 1939 French melodrama, which has been all but unseen for 75 years.
Exciting, beautiful and tragic, this remains essential cinema, French or otherwise.
The last movie to emerge from the subgenre of poetic realism shares the same dream-like qualities of L'Atalante, La Grande Illusion and La Règle du Jeu.
Told mostly in flashback, this story perfectly illustrates Carné's mastery of poetic realism and Jacques Prévert's appreciation of the lyricism of everyday speech.
The meandering verbal games in Le Jour Se Lève come across too much as ornate screenwriting, as if a piece of high-classical theatre has been shoe-horned into the grot-flecked alleys and boarding houses of provincial France.
Marcel Carné's black-and-white film of 1939 made radical use of flashbacks for the first time and its noir-ish cinematography gives the crime passionnel a dark tension.
Bristling with energy and shaped with incomparable artistry and flair.
Set convincingly on the streets and in the tenements, every frame here feels lived in.
What brings this film into greatness is the absolutely pitch-perfect lucid performance by Gabin.
This is the best of the fatalistic dramas scripted by Prévert and directed by Carné, a doom-laden romance, heavier on atmosphere than tension, and made memorable by the performances.
Audience Reviews for Le Jour se lève (Daybreak)
one of the great doomed romantic epics of poetic realism, with director marcel carné, his writing partner, the poet jacques prévert, and the fatalistic hero of so many films of the era, jean gabin, all at the height of their powers. wonderful atmosphereMore
A somber, suspenseful tale -- mostly told in flashback -- about a good man (Jean Gabin) who is driven to murder. As he barricades himself in his upstairs apartment, avoiding the police and a voyeuristic crowd, the events leading to the killing are recounted. The story involves a choice between two lovers, along with a smooth-talking dog trainer who becomes an obstacle.
The direction and cinematography are wonderful, but some aspects about the climax were unsatisfying for me. And did the police really make no effort to negotiate in those days?
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