Daybreak

1939, Drama/Romance, 1h 33m

24 Reviews 1,000+ Ratings

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Movie Info

Taciturn laborer François (Jean Gabin) cherishes the ingenuous orphan Françoise (Jacqueline Laurent) but grows increasingly disturbed by her attraction to a seedy entertainer, Valentin (Jules Berry). When Clara (Arletty), Valentin's assistant and lover, leaves him, she takes up with the reluctant François, who still continues to pine for Françoise. Amused by François' frustrations over his increasing attentions to Françoise, Valentin taunts him, bringing about a shocking and tragic act.

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Critic Reviews for Daybreak

Audience Reviews for Daybreak

  • Aug 21, 2011
    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?
    Eric B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 04, 2011
    awesome, i saw this a long time ago
    Bob S Super Reviewer
  • May 12, 2011
    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 atmosphere
    Stella D Super Reviewer
  • Mar 29, 2011
    "Le Jour Se Leve" starts with Valentin(Jules Berry) making so theatrical a departure from the mortal coil that even a blind man could not miss it. A lot of the neighbors do not either, as the police are called. Arriving at the door of the culprit, Francois(Jean Gabin), a factory worker who everybody swears is just the swellest of guys, they look to arrest him peacefully. But he does not feel like talking to anybody, especially the police, who he fires shots at, preferring instead to think of happier days when he met Francoise(Jacqueline Laurent) on their mutual name day. They date but, suspicious, he follows her one night to a music hall. "Le Jour Se Leve" gets off to an excellent start with some exquisite camerawork and Jean Gabin again proving how good an actor he was, bringing out the light and darkness in his character. But the movie eventually gets bogged down in a convoluted soap opera. While some might not think there is much reasoning behind Francois' pulling the trigger, I think this goes to the tragedy of the movie that nothing good can ever come from taking a life, no matter the intentions.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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