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So Dark the Night (1946)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  10 October 1946 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 317 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 9 critic

A renowned and relentless Paris detective takes his first vacation in eleven years at a small inn in the French countryside. There he meets and falls in love with the hotelier's daughter, ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Dwight Babcock) , 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Steven Geray ...
Micheline Cheirel ...
Eugene Borden ...
Pierre Michaud
Ann Codee ...
Mama Michaud
Egon Brecher ...
Dr. Boncourt
Helen Freeman ...
Widow Bridelle
Brother Theodore ...
Georges (as Theodore Gottlieb)
Gregory Gaye ...
Commissioner Grande (as Gregory Gay)
Jean Del Val ...
Dr. Manet
Emil Rameau ...
Pere Cortot
Paul Marion ...
Leon Achard
Louis Mercier ...
Jean Duval
Edit

Storyline

A renowned and relentless Paris detective takes his first vacation in eleven years at a small inn in the French countryside. There he meets and falls in love with the hotelier's daughter, who had been betrothed to a neighboring farmer, but who hopes to marry him and move to Paris. On the evening of their engagement, both the fiancée and the farmer disappear. What has happened to them? Who is responsible? Can the famed detective apply his talents to a rural mystery? Written by klg19

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

10 October 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Così scura la notte  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Nanette Michaud: Leon thinks only of his farm. But we, we could have a wonderful time in Paris, you and I.
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Connections

Referenced in The Baron: So Dark the Night (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Le Cheval Noir.
5 April 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

So Dark the Night is directed by Joseph H. Lewis and written by Dwight V. Babcock, Martin Berkeley and Aubrey Wisberg. It stars Steven Geray, Micheline Cheirel, Eugene Borden, Ann Codee and Egon Brecher. Music is by Hugo Friedhofer and cinematography by Burnett Guffey.

Henri Cassin (Geray) is a well regarded Parisian detective, who while on a much earned vacation falls in love with innkeeper's daughter Nanette Michaud. However, with Nanette already having a boyfriend, and a tempestuous one at that, true love does not run smooth, especially when murder enters the fray and Cassin has to start investigating the tricky case.

It all begins so perky, with jolly music and smiling faces, so much so I had actually thought I had loaded the wrong film to watch! Once Henri Cassin arrives at Le Cheval Noir (The Black Horse) in the rural town of St. Margot, however, the whole tone of the film shifts into darker territory. The applecart is turned upside down and various character traits come into play, with the characters themselves an interesting bunch, including a hunchbacked man.

Joseph Lewis (Gun Crazy/The Big Combo) does a top job in recreating a French town with what no doubt was a small budget, but his greatest strengths here are his visual ticks, in how he manages to fill the picture with the requisite psychological discord. In partnership with ace photographer Guffey, Lewis brings tilted angles and black shadowy shadings to this French hot-bed of lust and character disintegration. He also has a nifty bent for filming scenes through windows and bars, while one shot of a rippled water reflection cast onto a character's face is as significant a metaphor as can be.

Something of a rare picture given who the director is, this definitely is of interest to the film noir loving crowd. The finale will not surprise many, but it doesn't cop out by soft soaping the outcome, but yes this is well worth a look. 7/10


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