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Day for Night (1973)

La nuit américaine (original title)
A committed film director struggles to complete his movie while coping with a myriad of crises, personal and professional, among the cast and crew.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Dani ...
...
Stacey
...
Alexandre
Jean Champion ...
Bertrand, le producteur
...
Alphonse (as Jean-Pierre Leaud)
...
Nike Arrighi ...
Odile, la maquilleuse
...
Maurice Seveno ...
Le reporter TV
David Markham ...
Dr. Michael Nelson
Bernard Menez ...
Bernard, l'accessoiriste
Gaston Joly ...
Lajoie, le régisseur
Zénaïde Rossi ...
Madame Lajoie
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Storyline

The shooting of "Je vous presente Pamela" (may I introduce Pamela) begins. This is the story of en English married wife falling in love and running away with the father of her French husband. Will be simultaneously shown the shooting, the behavior of the people (including the technical team) on the set, and a part of their private life (a factor of complication)... Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A movie for people who love movies.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

7 September 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Day for Night  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$17,808 (USA) (25 July 1997)

Gross:

$17,808 (USA) (25 July 1997)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(dream sequences)| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the release of this film, Jean-Luc Godard sent François Truffaut a letter criticizing the way the film depicts filmmaking and called him a liar for it. Godard also criticized him for pandering to the mainstream, something they were both critical of filmmakers doing when they were critics at Cahiers du Cinema. Additionally, Godard went on to say that because the film was not truth and because the film was a hit, that they should make a film together about the filmmaking process; Truffaut would produce, Godard would direct, and they would both co-write the script. Godard's return address was of Jacques Daniel-Norman, a virtually unknown filmmaker whose films were loved by Truffaut and Godard when they were film critics, hinting at a return to a simpler time. Ignoring this hint, Truffaut was insulted by the letter and responded by telling Godard that he is demeaning and pretentious and that he pretends to be poor, when in reality he was the wealthiest of their circle of friends. The response also included a line in which Truffaut flat out calls Godard a "shit". It is believed that this quarrel is what ended their lifelong friendship. Godard later regretted writing this letter, especially after Truffaut's early death in 1984 and went as far as to write a moving tribute to his former friend. See more »

Goofs

During the filming of the car crash scene, when the stunt man backs up the car driving through the the open door, and when he jumps free as the "driverless" car supposedly heads for the cliff where it will crash, someone else is visible inside the car, actually driving. See more »

Quotes

Joelle: Like the chef in "Rules Of The Game", "I cater to diets, but not fad!"
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Crazy Credits

This film is dedicated to Lillian and Dorothy Gish. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hitchcock/Truffaut (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Delicate but penetrating
24 May 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

La Nuit Américaine is an interesting movie with celebrated French director Francois Truffaut playing a director making a movie. He proves to be a modest and convincing actor himself while patiently weaving a tale about how movies are made and how intense the emotional interactions among those making the movie can be.

Don't give up on this one too soon. It starts slow and seems almost amateurish because of the relatively low-tech way the film within the film is being shot. Truffaut gives us a glimpse of how the production crew works together (and sometimes at odds) while showing us some of the things that can go wrong while making a movie. He begins with the technical details of the production but before long begins to concentrate on the personalities of the movie-makers and their individual stories. Each story is carefully crafted in a somewhat leisurely way almost like the characterizations in a soap opera (without of course the phony drama and mass market sentimentality seen on TV). Truffaut's fine sense of emotional conflict and how conflict might be resolved makes the various stories touching without being maudlin.

Jacqueline Bisset who stars as English actress Julia Baker who plays the title role in the film within the film (May I Introduce Pamela?) doesn't make her appearance until about a fourth of the way in. She is a delight as an actress with a heart of gold recovering from a nervous breakdown married to an older man whom she does indeed love. Jean-Pierre Leaud, whom most viewers will recall as the running boy in Truffaut's The 400 Blows, plays a young and not entirely confident actor who gets jilted by the script girl who runs off with the stunt man during production. Bisset's warm and sisterly befriending of Leaud is, shall we say, entirely French (which gets her into trouble with her husband). This really is a skillful showcasing of Bisset since she gets to play something like an ingenue with her husband and the older woman with Leaud. Be careful you might fall in love with her.

Valentina Cortese in a fine supporting role does a most convincing job of playing the temperamental Italian actress just past her prime who quaffs champagne while working, who forgets her lines and can't find the right door, but when properly indulged gives a great performance.

My problem with this movie is I saw the dubbed version and of course that is disconcerting because one is constantly trying to reconcile the visualized actor with the dubbed one. To see Jacqueline Bisset who is beautifully fluent in both English and French speaking French while at the same time hearing someone else speaking English for her is just a bit too much to take. I understand that the DVD version is in French with subtitles. I would recommend that you get that and not the dubbed video.

Truffaut is the kind of director who allows the audience to penetrate not only his characters to see what makes them tick, but also the stars who play those characters. He does a particularly beautiful job with Bisset who is warm and wise and something close to heroic, and with Leaud whose childishness seems natural and whose pettiness forgivable. Don't believe those reviewers who think this is a slight film. It is carefully crafted and very well thought out and is a fine example of the work of the one of the great directors of the French cinema. See it for Truffaut whose delicate genius is evident throughout.

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)


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