Port of Shadows (Le Quai des Brumes) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Port of Shadows (Le Quai des Brumes) Reviews

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July 4, 2017
A great, early Film Noir treasure. This is a poetic, romantic melodrama of two desperate and lonely people whose story flirts with bigger philosophical themes, including alienation. It is also a firmly anti-war film, quite a relevant message for 1938. The film's intriguing, stifling atmosphere of fog and shadows is masterful. Gabin and Morgan are radiant and mesmerizing.
April 12, 2017
A striking & slick French Classic that follows the journey of deserted soldier played perfectly by Jean Gabin, who finds himself at a bar at the end of the pier at Le Havre.

Filled with atmosphere & much fog this film had terrific characters that filled this unusual isolated world.

Things really heat up when the soldier meets the dame, a terrific romance that is not conventional & no doubt a major inspiration & influence for Casablanca in 1943.
August 9, 2016
You can go only so far... before your at the Port ov Shadows. With its luminous shadows of choices, dripping the heaven of hopelessness. Great characterisation giving this movie the truth of splendour. The movie shows that all the cunts standing in your way from realising your dreams must be shackled or eliminated, before they do you in.
Robert B.
Super Reviewer
October 6, 2015
Port of Shadows is French proto-noir. The film is put together nicely in terms of shooting and vibe; the main characters have an odd but good chemistry. I agree with other reviewers that the plot is a bit lacking and the film is strangely episodic but nonetheless uprate it on account of it satisfying my tastes (French, noir).
Super Reviewer
½ August 3, 2014
Love is the only hope for people who, paradoxically seek freedom in their already predestined lives. An elegy with haunting, dreamlike atmosphere.
½ February 13, 2014
If you resist the moodiness of the whole thing, it becomes apparent that the melodramatic storyline and thinly-drawn, unlikable characters just can't stand up on their own. Yes, some consider it a masterpiece and it may just be an issue of preference, but "Port of Shadows" had me rolling my eyes and checking my watch on multiple occasions. Regardless, its stylistic, ideological, and technical influence is undeniable.
½ February 5, 2014
I was enthralled by this French proto noir with its fabulous foggy atmosphere underscoring the central themes of the storyline and the excellent direction of a relatively simple story told so incredibly well. The cast are also impressive, most notably Jean Gabin. Highly recommended!
½ January 14, 2014
Doomed Romance In A Port Of Shadows....--French predecessor of film Noir!!
½ October 5, 2013
Atmospheric noirish movie of people pragmatically making their way in a difficult, dangerous world; connecting with other sympathetic humans as they can. much franker and darker than a modern audience might expect from a movie of this vintage.
September 8, 2013
Jean: "T'as d'beaux yeux, tu sais."
Nelly: "Embrassez-moi."
½ August 29, 2013
"Le quai des brumes" fu uno dei primi noir francesi che ispirò i dettami del genere ad Hollywood e nel resto del mondo. Il film di Carné segnò anche l'avvio al rapporto di collaborazione professionale tra il regista, Prevert ed il già affermato Jean Gabin: Jean, defezionista dell'esercito coloniale, arriva a Le Havre prima di salire a bordo di una nave diretta per il Venezuela. Durante la sosta in un rifugio incontra Nelly (Michèle Morgan), fanciulla soggetta alle angherie del tutore Zabel (Michel Simon) e del gangster Lucien (Pierre Brasseur). Tra le scazzottate col secondo e il rapporto conflittuale col primo Jean e Nelly si innamoreranno, sognando di salpare insieme verso la tanta bramata libertà: senza ombra di dubbio Carné riesce a dirigere con mano fissa e serena le ottime performance melodrammatiche di Gabin, Simon e gli altri personaggi secondari contestualizzandoli nel quadro grigio e tediato del paesaggio francese dove la nebbia fa da cornice pittoresca alle atmosfere pessimiste ed esagitate quali mettono in risalto quelle dell'opera d'ispirazione del romanzo di Pierre Mac Orlan; lo stile utilizzato, che prende il nome di "realismo poetico", mostrava degli atteggiamenti molto spontanei da parte degli attori sullo schermo, che persino nella semplice gestualità richiamavano non poco dei comportamenti totalmente usuali della vita quotidiana. Nondimeno molti elementi di contorno, come le luci, gli oggetti del negozio di Zabel, e perfino l'abbigliamento mascolino di Nelly, sono dei tasselli di potenza metaforica i quali catalizzano con vigoria rivelativa l'analisi psicologica e filosofica dell'autore sui suoi macchiettisti: spiccano marcatamente la visione della donna addotta come essere "androgino" ed il senso di intrappolamento del protagonista nel momento in cui maneggia un souvenir che racchiude un battello in miniatura. Meno d'effetto però emergono i dialoghi, che se per l'interpretazione di Gabin si mantengono ancora intriganti, non lo sono altrettanto per il resto del cast, in particolare per la Morgan e Brasseur, in più di una scena tendenti a suscitare il sorriso per la loro ingenuità e spogliatezza. Ancora rimarchevole comunque il montaggio "ritagliato", mirato a staccare in maniera inconsueta i vari punti delle sequenze concatenando i frangenti in modo discontinuo ma con un ritmo narrativo zigrinato ed imponderabile. Anche se era ancora distante dalla completezza platonica ed il romanticismo tribolato di "Amanti Perduti" Carné confezionò comunque una storia passionale aspra e tumultuosa.
½ July 3, 2013
I think it's the lost sense of Chaplinian Innocence, what makes "Port Of Shadows" so pure and so great. Unfortunately I had seen godar's "Breathless" before watching "Port of shadows" and at the end, which is so much like Breathless' that contrast between innocence and purity of heroes was even huger. Yes I speak like romantic but it's necessary. Here everything is so clear, you see clear Heroism, Love, Hate , Perversion and Cowardness. Jean Gaben's hero is a man and no one can do anything with it, he can't change himself, he acts like a man and dies like a hero. Visually it's so great too, in dark noir style, making nearly perfect melancholic mood. It's predictable, it's leading us to an end that we already know, it won't be happy-end, it's just like that artists tragic thoughts, who thinks there's always someone hiding behind the tree that's he drawing. It's great example of poetic realism, and one of the greatest of World Cinema.
½ March 26, 2013
Le Quai des Brumes (1939)
aka Port of Shadows

Another Marcel Carné pre-war, French (talkative) neo-realism film with a little film noir thrown in for good measure.

Jean (Jean Gabin) is a disillusioned AWOL soldier, hitchhiking his way to Le Havre. He finds shelter in a worn out saloon near the docks and meets some down-on-their-luck characters including the owner, Panama (Edouard Docleur) a suicidal artist, Michel Krauss (Robert Vigan) and a beautiful young woman, Nelly (Michéle Morgan).

There's also some gangsters fighting over power and access to Nelly, including Nelly's own guardian, Zabel (Michel Simon). Jean and Nelly fall in love with each other, but it's done knowing that the relationship will be doomed since Jean is trying to get on a tramp steamer to Venezuela.
February 22, 2013
No film is perfect. In fact, my favorite films are more imperfect than other technically "perfect" films. And yet, watching this movie, which really affected me on every emotional level, the only word that I could think of was "perfect". The directing, the acting, the beautiful cinematography, the downright poetic script, it might, for all intents and purposes, be a flawless film, and immediately one of my favorites.
October 25, 2012
This film steams with pure energy, it is emotional from start to finish, which is a contrast to our hardened characters who are slowly softened by the love that they find so rarely. At it's heart, this film is surely one of the roots of the 1940's Noir genre.
September 7, 2012
Port of Shadows never loses focus and there are never any lapses of concentration. Michele Morgan is lovely in this film.
½ March 15, 2012
Nothing like a little doomed romance with characters who talk openly about being resigned to their fate to make the day sing with hope and promise! This is why I like the French.
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