6.7/10
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8 user 8 critic

Night at the Crossroads (1932)

La nuit du carrefour (original title)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Pierre Renoir ...
Georges Térof ...
Lucas (as G. Terof)
Winna Winifried ...
Else Andersen (as Winna Winfried)
Georges Koudria ...
Carl Andersen (as George Koudria)
Dignimont ...
G.A. Martin ...
Granjean (as Martin)
Michel Duran ...
Jojo
Jean Gehret ...
Emile Michonnet (as Gehret)
Boulicot ...
Un gendarme
Max Dalban ...
Le docteur (as Dalban)
Roger Gaillard ...
Le boucher (as Gaillard)
Jean Mitry ...
Arsène
Jane Pierson ...
Mme Michonnet
...
Guido (as Rabby)
Lucie Vallat ...
Michelle, la femme d'Oscar
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Storyline

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Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

18 April 1932 (France)  »

Also Known As:

La notte dell'incrocio  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Connections

Featured in Histoire(s) du cinéma: Les signes parmi nous (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Elucidation through the Fog...
9 March 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Carrefour has been considered a precursor to film noir and it can be agreed that the film is all about atmosphere. Renoir uses long sweeping pans to explore the space. There is a consciousness with regards to constructing depth in the mise-en-scene. Interestingly groups of characters are organized and move around in this film slightly differently from Grande Illusion or Regle, and is more similar to Cordelier. If theses differences can be connected to two overall stylistics systems for Renoir's work, with one being more focused on psychology (I realize Renoir spoke vehemently against it), then perhaps Carrefour can be understood as a bit of a hybrid between Renoir's two dominant stylistic systems. In Carrefour, ample closeups and angular shots support this claim while a lack of mobile framing (on interiors certainly) goes further to promote this thesis. Closeups on particular objects (cigarette pack) are ambiguously pov and hint at a transcendental position (not typical of Renoir) and is perhaps explainable through the film being an adaptation of a Simenon book. Again, Renoir finds novel uses for synch sound with alternating sound design and sound used through a sense of privilege. The settings are beautiful and the nighttime scenes become eerie and displaced (the displacement is all the more provocative when piecing together a film that is missing a reel). There is a Renoirian dilemma at play in this Simenon story and Renoir's use of polyvocal systems (Illusion, Carosse) underscore it. Carrefour is not unobtrusively political in its presentation of foreigners (Danes) being blamed for the murder of a Jew. A theme of separation and disconnect permeates those 'reasons' that people have for doing what they do. Pierre Renoir as Maigret performs perfecting in navigating the layers of the drama with subtle intent and sharpened will. The employment of great depth of field (lattice of door frame, staircase through doorway) plays more on this psychological disconnect of motives for action than it does for constructing space unobtrusively. That is to say, the direction is willful and therefore driven by auteur psychology and defined by construction of transcendental subject positions. Convergence is a force that surges forward to counter the themes of separation and disconnect. Class structure comes colliding into a single plane (and for this reviewer) reveals more about what holds everyone together in unity as opposed to toying with issues of servitude/mastery. Eventually, the pace slows and the atmosphere dominates. The foggy night and dim light provide a nice juxtaposition to the possibility of elucidation on the plot of the film. Some have commented that Night at the Crossroads is impossible to make sense of (without the full working print), but perhaps even with a complete print it would defy any logical and straightforward readings.


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