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The Night Affair (1958)

Le désordre et la nuit (original title)
A vice inspector for the Paris police takes special interest in the plight of drug-addicted Lucky whom he considers to be more victim than criminal.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Inspecteur Georges Vallois
Thérèse Marken
Lucky Fridel
Paul Frankeur ...
Inspecteur Chaville
Hazel Scott ...
Valentine Horse
Robert Manuel ...
Robert Berri ...
François Chaumette ...
Le commissaire principal Janin / Commissioner Janin
Henri Marken
Liliane Robin
Jannick Arvel
Claude Ivry
Ingrid Harrisson ...
Lucien Raimbourg ...
Gabriel Gobin ...
L'inspecteur Rocard


A vice inspector for the Paris police takes special interest in the plight of drug-addicted Lucky whom he considers to be more victim than criminal.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Paris Before Dawn - The end of an interlude of love, lust and murder...running its course while the city sleeps. As if terrified by the light of day...it waits, only to return under cover of another night.


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Release Date:

14 May 1958 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Night Affair  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Featured in Voyage à travers le cinéma français (2016) See more »


Ton pas dans la rue
Music by Jean Yatove
Lyrics by Henri Contet
Performed by Nadja Tiller
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User Reviews

Detective Gabin takes unusual interest in murder witness Nadja Tiller
26 March 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Le désordre et la nuit" (1958) is a good to very good film noir from the classic era, which means a bygone age and atmosphere of style, music, clothing, architecture, and human attitudes and conversation that cannot be reproduced today. These noirs far surpass being merely historical documents that incite feelings among those of us who lived through the era. They reach for a permanent place in the pantheon of durable artistic endeavors, a place that can be appreciated when that era is long gone. What makes it so is the approach that saturates these films and the way they look that complements that approach. "Le désordre et la nuit" is fully-inhabited by that noir approach, which is both a view of and a way of dealing with the human condition. Disorder reflects uncertainty and a world with uncertain roots and values. Night reflects an emphasis on the darker threads in human relations. In this movie, most of it occurs literally at night and in night spots. The film has beautiful lighting.

The story is a detective murder mystery. A shady night club owner has been shot to death. He was some distance away from his companion still in the car, Nadja Tiller, so she's a witness of sorts. Jean Gabin is the detective on the case. There are several suspects who have gained by this killing. What is of central interest is Tiller's character and the mutual attraction with Gabin. In exploring her character, however, we get to see the night club world she inhabits, its patrons and its denizens, its entertainers (like Hazel Scott) and its underworld connections. She's hooked on morphine, another facet of this world. Jazz and drugs enter at the very beginning of the film.

Gabin's world is a police world in which there is pressure on him from above (François Chaumette) to make an arrest. Gabin has a far different way of handling the case, and his feelings for Tiller are part of it. He is methodical and patient. He knows or suspects that Tiller's connection to the deceased is critical but he prefers to explore her circle of friends rather than pressure her or arrest her, as Chaumette wants.

This is not an action-packed story. It is not even that suspenseful. But it holds us through very good writing that's at times quite novel and surprising, through fine performances that also include that of Danielle Darrieux, through well-done sets, and the skilled direction of Gilles Grangier with whom Gabin had a long association.

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