The story takes place in Le Havre just after the war. Bombed out buildings are everywhere, there's a feeling of people trying to get started again after years of struggle. Laurent is a heavy drinker on the docks who mistreats his wife Madeleine and ends up being killed in a brawl. His friend Jean feels guilty about starting an affair with Madeleine.
There is a lot of atmosphere in this film--it looks very much like what de Sica and Rossellini were doing in Italy during this period. The photography is superb, lots of dark tones and shadows during the day, rich blacks for the outdoor scenes at night. All the actors are good, especially Ginette Leclerc as the frustrated wife, her tormented face often seen in close-up, and Jean Pierre Kérien as Jean.
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