Port of Shadows (1938)
"Le quai des brumes" (original title)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  29 October 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 5,814 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 44 critic

A military deserter finds love and trouble (and a small dog) in a smoky French port city.



(novel) (as Pierre Mac Orlan) , (scenario and dialogue)
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Complete credited cast:
Édouard Delmont ...
Panama (as Delmont)
Raymond Aimos ...
Quart Vittel (as Aimos)
Robert Le Vigan ...
Le peintre (as Le Vigan)
René Génin ...
Le docteur (as Genin)
Marcel Pérès ...
Le chauffeur (as Perez)
Jenny Burnay ...
L'amie de Lucien
Roger Legris ...
Le garçon d'hôtel (as Legris)
Martial Rèbe ...
Le client


Life's a rotten business, says Jean, a deserter who arrives at night in Le Havre, looking to leave the country. He lucks into civilian clothes, a little bit of money, a passport, and a dog, and he also meets Nelly, a 17-year-old who's grown up too fast. She's the object of lust of men: including a boyfriend Maurice, her putative protector Zabel, and Lucien, a local hood. Jean falls for her, faces down Lucien, and gives her courage to stand on her own feet. A ship is leaving for Venezuela; can at least one of them be on it, or is that just a dream? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


...A Story Which the French Have Put On the Screen With Daring Skill! See more »


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Release Date:

29 October 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Port of Shadows  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,641 (USA) (16 November 2012)


$26,765 (USA) (8 February 2013)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Le peintre: Some people go fishing or hunting or go to war. Others commit crimes of passion. Some commit suicide. You have to kill someone.
Quart Vittel: That's life.
See more »


Referenced in Le sucre (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

make sure the razor blades are locked up
22 September 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Jean Gabin and Michelle Morgan star in the stylish Marcel Carne film, "Port of Shadows," made in 1938. There is simply no one like Jean Gabin

  • Hollywood had no idea what to do with him - here he was, this amazing

leading man who looked like a character actor. Thankfully, the French knew what they had and kept him busy for 48 years.

Gabin plays Jean, a military deserter who comes into the French port of Le Havre, intending to leave aboard ship for Venezuela. He meets the beautiful Nelly and is adopted by a small dog. Nelly is a real man magnet; she has a boyfriend Maurice, a father figure who is in love with her named Zabel, and Lucien, a hood in love with her. She and Jean fall in love, even though in her heart she knows that he has to leave Le Havre.

These French films out-noir American film noirs, and this is a stylish, dark film filled with sadness, with a depressing ambiance throughout. If you were miserable when you started watching it, you'll be a mess when it's over. What I've gone through for Gabin - he was in so many dark, depressing films! If you're a fan of film noir (and/or Gabin), this is for you.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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