Port of Shadows (Le Quai des Brumes) (1939)
Average Rating: 8.4/10
Reviews Counted: 23
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 1
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Average Rating: 7.9/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 1
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 2,231
When Jean (Jean Gabin), a deserter from the Colonial Army, hitchhikes his way into Le Havre, he's only looking for a place to hide until he book ship's passage. He never expects to become embroiled in a dispute between local "tough" guy Lucien (Pierre Brasseur) and wealthy but shady shopkeeper Zabel (Michel Simon). Nor does he expect to fall in love with the beautiful Nelly (Michèle Morgan), who Zabel also "keeps" What was supposed to be a stopover on his way to a better life turns into a fight
Sep 14, 2012 Limited
Jul 20, 2004
Rialto Pictures - Official Site
Because it is so uncompromising, so pure, "Port of Shadow's" particularly French brand of romantic fatalism still knocks us out decades after the fact.
From Gabin's fatigued magnetism to cinematographer Eugen Schüfftan's woodcut-worthy attention to texture, this is movie melancholia of the very highest order.
As a film that neither attempts more than it can do nor is satisfied with the trivial, Port of Shadows is a pleasure.
Essentially, this is film noir, so there's crime and romance, but both are submerged beneath a resolutely ground-level exploration of lives in crisis -- a mood bolstered by shots of the down-and-dirty French port groaning into action.
It's a thorough-going study in blacks and grays, without a free laugh in it; but it is also a remarkably beautiful motion picture from the purely pictorial standpoint and a strangely haunting drama.
The first and probably least of the collaborations between screenwriter Jacques Prevert and director Marcel Carne.
This collaboration of Marcel Carne and Jacques Prevert is a highlight of French poetic realism and a masterpiece of world cinema.
We empathize with their resistance to suffer, but it's hard to feel something other than philosophical respect for characters who think of swimmers as soon-to-be drowned men.
Carné's thrilling film is an important and undervalued influence on the post-war American noirs of the 1940s.
One of the definitive examples of the 'poetic realism' style of French cinema of the pre-war and wartime years...
The results are frustrating, though Michel Simon is wonderfully vulnerable as the shopkeeper Zabel, who complains about the injustice of loving like Romeo but looking like Bluebeard.
What is often forgotten when discussing poetic realism is how entertaining the films are, and none is more so than Le Quai des Brumes.
Marcel Carné's film has fully earned its status as a classic of French poetic realism.
This marvelous distillation of the prevailing mood in prewar France was the first feature to win critical acclaim for the directing-writing team of Marcel Carne and Jacques Prevert.
Not a cheerful evening's viewing, this, but a superb and compelling example of melancholic realism.
Audience Reviews for Port of Shadows (Le Quai des Brumes)
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- Port of Shadows (Le Quai des brumes) (DE)
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