7.7/10
6,033
42 user 45 critic

Port of Shadows (1938)

Le quai des brumes (original title)
Approved | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 29 October 1939 (USA)
A military deserter finds love and trouble (and a small dog) in a smoky French port city.

Director:

Writers:

(novel) (as Pierre Mac Orlan), (scenario and dialogue)
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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Nelly...girl of the waterfront...who at seventeen...had lived far beyond her years See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 October 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Port of Shadows  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$26,765 (USA) (8 February 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is supposed to be set in the French port of Le Havre, but the streets were actually all built on a sound stage. See more »

Quotes

Le peintre: You have to be an idiot to go on living with such discontent, such anxiety.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Story of Film: An Odyssey: Post-War Cinema (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Engaging, provoking theatre
17 September 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Interesting what a contrast this movie makes to Carne's "The Children of Paradise". The two are almost complete opposites where mise-en-scene is concerned, and yet more interesting is that they both show a filmmaker with a craft of form and expression that rises beyond most other filmmakers, including his contemporaries.

"Port of Shadows" is about a French army deserter (Jean Gabin, wonderful as usual) who attempts to flee the nation in order to finally begin a life away from the bad luck that's always held him. He appears at a small port town, immediately falls in love, and sets off a chain of events that show an inherent fatalism with a sense of humor, tragedy, and substance.

This movie has one of those scripts that's very appealing in the way that it sends characters wandering through the mists, and yet somehow everything comes together and ties up all loose ends by the end. Adding to it the moody, brooding cinematography filled with fog and smoke, and one can't help but immerse oneself gladly into a different world. Also, Carne adds a sense of theatricality and the Carnivalesque that even Fellini couldn't compare to.

This is definitely a film that well deserves being called "a classic of French cinema." --PolarisDiB


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