IMDb > Port of Shadows (1938)
Le quai des brumes
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Port of Shadows (1938) More at IMDbPro »Le quai des brumes (original title)

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Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   4,883 votes »
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MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 18% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Pierre Dumarchais (novel)
Jacques Prévert (scenario and dialogue)
Contact:
View company contact information for Port of Shadows on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 October 1939 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
Tender...frankly adult. Filled with almost every emotion known to man See more »
Plot:
A military deserter finds love and trouble (and a small dog) in a smoky French port city. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Dog | Port | Money | Luck | Love
See more »
Awards:
4 wins & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(31 articles)
The Forgotten: Aglow and Askew
 (From MUBI. 5 March 2014, 8:08 PM, PST)

With Durbin Gone, Who's Still Around from the '30s?
 (From Alt Film Guide. 7 May 2013, 3:41 AM, PDT)

Film Of The Week: Port of Shadows (1938)
 (From GreenCine Daily. 14 September 2012, 11:27 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Doomed Romance In A Port Of Shadows.... See more (40 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jean Gabin ... Jean

Michel Simon ... Zabel

Michèle Morgan ... Nelly

Pierre Brasseur ... Lucien
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
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Léo Malet ... Soldier (uncredited)
Marcel Melrac ... (uncredited)
Raymond Pélissier ... (uncredited)
Raphaël ... Un complice (uncredited)
Claude Walter ... L'orphelin (uncredited)
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Directed by
Marcel Carné 
 
Writing credits
Pierre Dumarchais (novel) (as Pierre Mac Orlan)

Jacques Prévert (scenario and dialogue)

Produced by
Gregor Rabinovitch .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Maurice Jaubert 
 
Cinematography by
Eugen Schüfftan  (as E. Schufftan)
 
Film Editing by
René Le Hénaff  (as R. Le Hénaff)
 
Production Design by
Alexandre Trauner  (as Trauner)
 
Costume Design by
Coco Chanel (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Ludmilla Goulian .... unit manager (as Mme Goulian)
Simon Schiffrin .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Claude Walter .... assistant director (as Walter)
 
Art Department
Clément Hurel .... poster artist
 
Sound Department
Antoine Archimbaud .... sound engineer (as Archimbaud)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Henri Alekan .... camera operator (as Alekan)
Marc Fossard .... camera operator (as Fossard)
Roger Kahan .... still photographer (as R. Kahan)
Louis Page .... camera operator (as Page)
 
Editorial Department
A. Chourat .... assistant editor
 
Other crew
Marcel Carné .... story editor
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Le quai des brumes" - France (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
91 min | Canada:90 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Photophone System)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | USA:Approved | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:TV-14 (TV rating) | West Germany:16 (f) (bw)

Did You Know?

Quotes:
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 »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Doomed Romance In A Port Of Shadows...., 30 September 2007
Author: Nin Chan from Canada

...lascivious, resentful old storekeepers, effete "toughs", thieving winos, crestfallen, impecunious artists and other downtrodden types. Like Duvivier's incomparable "Pepe Le Moko", "Port Of Shadows" is shrouded in mist. The fog here, however, doesn't evoke a sensual surrealism, but envelopes everything with a graven pallor and dampness. Indeed, everything here screams asphyxiation- Gabin is INCREDIBLE as a well-intentioned Byronic figure embittered by the realities and absurdities of war, whose near-consummate weltschmerz is offered salvation...until inescapable tragedy strikes. As a tragic poet of the cinema, I believe Carne was nearly unrivalled in the Golden Age of French film.

The thick veils of smog give the amplify the film's preoccupation with solitude and opacity- dialogue here is often barbed, strained and bitter, the world-weary cynicism of the characters betraying their immense suffering. Principles are a luxury in an age of disenchantment- the proprietor of Panama's is impassive towards the suicide of his resident Werther (his existentialist exclamation "What's the use?" accenting the futility of suicide- far from offering a reprieve from superfluity, it merely confirms it) while loyalty amongst Leguardier's posse is dispelled briskly after his humiliation. Superfluity is the order of the day- "The world is better off with one less good-for-nothing"..."He needs an identity...I can give him mine.". Each character is acutely aware of his own gratuitousness, and each of them tries desperately to cobble together a raison d'etre in the face of nothingness. When these collapse, as in the case of Michel, Zabal and Leguardier, they are driven to murder or suicide.

As with Les Enfants Du Paradis, Carne's forte lies in sculpting exquisitely intricate characters- the sheer HUMANITY of this movie warrants multiple viewings. Michel Simon's grotesque, graceless Zabal is brilliantly rendered- scorned doubly for his money and his cosmetic deficiencies, Zabal's resignation to a cruel fate (soul-corroding loneliness and a burgeoning moral ugliness) culminates in a death as clumsy and maladroit as his demeanor. His reverence for beauty, as exhibited in his adoration of Nelly and religious hymns, is severely at odds with his environs.

Leguardier, petty hoodlum, imitates American gangster archetypes gleaned from film and hardboiled novels, but his seemingly cocksure swagger is a poor facade for his suffocating ennui and moral cowardliness. Nelly, forbearing and forlorn, is prey to reveries of love, fantasies that promise fulfilment until the film's heartrending conclusion. Looming ominously in the background of the movie are questions on the purpose of art in this grim epoch- the characters on display are all victims of quixotic myths: of war, patriotism, love, crime, masculinity. The incongruities between these fables and cruel reality, the hideous gulf between romance and fact, these are perhaps the saddest truths the film yields.

The ending, seen in this light, is bittersweet- Jean, the tragic character par excellence who has said Yes to all that is absurd and obscene in his life, relinquishes all illusions about the impermanence of all things, including love. Nelly and Jean have achieved true communion, true intercourse, if even for an ephemeral moment. His death is a noble one, an affirmation and acceptance of transience. This is the happiest conclusion that Carne can offer, and even in the film's unrelenting fatalism there is fortitude and life-affirming courage. Camus would've given the thumbs up! In the absurd quandary of life, there is room for sentiment and fraternity, as long as we accept its temporal nature. In Proustian fashion, memory renews all things, so let us embalm these precious moments!

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For the first time im disappointed with criterion Polygraph
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Someone help with the ending please s-napolitano8
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In Atonement... axelpenguin22
Just a Question . . . W.B.
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