Charlie Kohler is a piano player in a bar. The waitress Lena is in love with him. One of Charlie's brother, Chico, a crook, takes refuge in the bar because he is chased by two gangsters, ... See full summary »
Abel Davis is a criminal, hunted in Italy. The police are closing in, so he and his pal Raymond arrange to flee back to France with Abel's wife, Thérèse, and their two young sons. Abel and ... See full summary »
Lucienne Delamare and Pierre Maury are having an affair. Lucienne's husband Paul is the mayor, and a French deputy. Pierre's wife Clotilde has been weak and sickly for years. Lucienne's ... See full summary »
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
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 »
You're the type women fall in love with . . . I'm the type that interests them.
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What is it about French films that makes them so special?
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.
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