Some time after "Baisers Volés", Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud) and Christine Darbon (Claude Jade) are married and Antoine works dying flowers, and Christine is pregnant and gives ... See full summary »
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 »
At the beginning of the 20th century, Claude Roc, a young middle-class Frenchman meets in Paris Ann Brown, a young Englishwoman. They become friends and Ann invites him to spend holidays at... See full summary »
In the town of Thiers, summer of 1976, teachers and parents give their children skills, love, and attention. A teacher has his first child, a single mother hopes to meet Mr. Right, another ... See full summary »
Antoine Doinel is now more than thirty. He divorces from Christine. He is a proofreader, and is in love with Sabine, a record seller. Colette, his teenager love, is now a lawyer. She buys ... See full summary »
Claude Massoulier is murdered while hunting at the same place than Julien Vercel, an estate agent that knew him and whose fingerprints are found on Massoulier's car. As the police discovers... See full summary »
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
A sequence uses a scene with a cat drinking milk from a discarded room service tray from Truffaut's film The Soft Skin (1964) as its inspiration, this time showing the audience the multiple takes required to get the cat to go to the tray and drink See more »
During the swimming pool scene, the shadow of the real crew and camera crane fall several times on parts of the set where action is going on in the film within the film. See more »
We'll shoot the scene when you find a cat that can act!
See more »
This film is dedicated to Lillian and Dorothy Gish. See more »
A close and intriguing look at the film-making process
François Truffaut's La Nuit Américaine is one of the most remarkable achievements in the "film within the film" genre. The movie stars Truffaut himself (who else could possibly play the role?) as Ferrand, an experienced director who's working on a new feature, "Je vous prèsente Pamela" (I introduce Pamela), and La Nuit Américaine showcases the difficulties of the production: props not working, actors struggling to memorize their lines, crew members leaving the project and scenes that have to be shot various times before Ferrand nails them (the "bad actor-cat" scene is a must-see). You know the bloopers that are sometimes included on the DVDs? Same thing, only funnier. Truffaut is brilliant in showing how different an actor can be from his on-screen persona (Jean-Pierre Léaud is outstanding as selfish, spoiled Alphonse), the cast and crew's private lives affecting or being affected by the making of the film, and how the slightest detail can change an otherwise foolproof schedule.
The most intriguing aspect of this movie, however, is perhaps the autobiographical elements the director has added: it basically sums up Truffaut's entire career, with references to his previous masterpieces (Léaud's presence being the most obvious one), and he has clearly based the character of Ferrand on himself (the flashback with the then 9-year old film lover stealing pictures of Citizen Kane is pure movie magic). He fascinates us so much we don't immediately realize the film was made under the same circumstances as the fictitious flick the characters are trying to achieve.
A flawless love letter to cinema, La Nuit Américaine should be on everyone's must-see list. Thirty years on, it has lost none of its appeal.
14 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?