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Daybreak (1939)
"Le jour se lève" (original title)

 -  Crime | Drama | Romance  -  29 July 1940 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 3,528 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 19 critic

After committing a murder, a man locks himself in his apartment and recollects the events the led him to the killing.

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Writers:

(original scenario), (dialogue)
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Title: Daybreak (1939)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
François
Jules Berry ...
M. Valentin
...
Clara
Mady Berry ...
La concierge
René Génin ...
Le concierge (as Genin)
Arthur Devère ...
Mr. Gerbois (as Arthur Devere)
René Bergeron ...
Le patron du café (as Bergeron)
Bernard Blier ...
Gaston
Marcel Pérès ...
Paulo (as Peres)
Germaine Lix ...
La chanteuse
Gabrielle Fontan ...
La vieille dame dans l'escalier
Jacques Baumer ...
Le commissaire
Jacqueline Laurent ...
Françoise
Edit

Storyline

Francois, a sympathetic factory worker, kills Valentin with a gun. He locked himself in his furnished room and starts remembering how he was led to murder. He met once Francoise, a young fleurist, and they fell in love. But Francoise was gotten round by Valentin, a dog trainer, a machiavellian guy... Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder | love | gun | factory worker | factory | See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 July 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Daybreak  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Janus print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Wide Range Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While not the first film to use dissolves to represent flashbacks, it was considered too new a method in the language of cinema that the films producers' insisted on pretitle cards to avoid any confusion. See more »

Quotes

M. Valentin: You're the type women fall in love with . . . I'm the type that interests them.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Silent Trigger (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
What is it about French films that makes them so special?
3 April 2009 | by (Portugal) – See all my reviews

There is something so lyrical about the tale of the doomed François portrayed by the great Jean Gabin that even in its hardest luck moments you feel you are watching poetry in motion.

In addition, Le Jour se Leve is a character study with all the contradictions that tend to go with pained souls like François' - except that there is a further depth that renders the film quite universal, a depth made of little moments in human relationships and the flaws that gently emerge but only renders the humans involved more endearing.

Still, all that glitters is not gold: the apparently pure Françoise has actually been bedded by M. Valentin (Berry); and the police are more interested in getting their man than in saving him.

The direction is precise and inspired, resorting to the then much used flashback technique but never allowing it to dominate the film.

The photography - well, it is gorgeous and it gives the film its expressionistic ambiance. Finally, Gabin - one of the greatest actors ever in one of his greatest roles. Need one say more?

The ending can be predicted from the moment François kills a visitor in his apartment but that aside it is a film full of cinematographic treasures, acting to gape at, and a quality of direction that is seldom seen these days. A must see for anyone who cares about movies.


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

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