IMDb > Day for Night (1973)
La nuit américaine
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Day for Night (1973) More at IMDbPro »La nuit américaine (original title)

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Day for Night -- Trailer for this classic film within a film


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Up 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
François Truffaut (screenplay) &
Jean-Louis Richard (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Day for Night on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 September 1973 (USA) See more »
A movie for people who love movies.
A committed film director struggles to complete his movie while coping with a myriad of crises, personal and professional, among the cast and crew. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Won Oscar. Another 11 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Cinema Reine! See more (63 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jacqueline Bisset ... Julie Baker

Valentina Cortese ... Séverine
Dani ... Liliane, la stagiaire scripte

Alexandra Stewart ... Stacey

Jean-Pierre Aumont ... Alexandre
Jean Champion ... Bertrand, le producteur

Jean-Pierre Léaud ... Alphonse (as Jean-Pierre Leaud)

François Truffaut ... Ferrand, le réalisateur
Nike Arrighi ... Odile, la maquilleuse

Nathalie Baye ... Joëlle, la scripte
Maurice Seveno ... Le reporter TV
David Markham ... Dr. Michael Nelson
Bernard Menez ... Bernard, l'accessoiriste
Gaston Joly ... Lajoie, le régisseur
Zénaïde Rossi ... Madame Lajoie
Xavier Saint-Macary ... Christian (as Xavier Macary)
Marc Boyle ... Le cascadeur anglais
Walter Bal ... Walter, le chef opérateur
Jean-François Stévenin ... Jean-François, l'assistant réalisateur (as J.F. Stevenin)
Pierre Zucca ... Pierrot, le photographe de plateau
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Martine Barraqué ... Martine, la monteuse (uncredited)
Marcel Berbert ... L'assureur français (uncredited)
Yann Dedet ... Yann, le monteur (uncredited)
Georges Delerue ... Georges, le compositeur (voice) (uncredited)

Graham Greene ... L'assureur anglais (uncredited)
Ernest Menzer ... Le producteur de films érotiques (uncredited)

Claude Miller ... Le client de l'hôtel (uncredited)
Jean Panisse ... Bit part (uncredited)
Marie Poitevin ... Woman (uncredited)
Christophe Vesque ... L'enfant à la canne, séquence du rêve (uncredited)

Directed by
François Truffaut 
Writing credits
François Truffaut (screenplay) &
Jean-Louis Richard (screenplay) &
Suzanne Schiffman (screenplay)

Produced by
Marcel Berbert .... producer
Original Music by
Georges Delerue 
Cinematography by
Pierre-William Glenn 
Film Editing by
Martine Barraqué 
Yann Dedet 
Production Design by
Damien Lanfranchi 
Art Direction by
Damien Lanfranchi 
Costume Design by
Monique Dury 
Makeup Department
Fernande Hugi .... makeup artist
Thi-Loan Nguyen .... makeup artist
Malou Rossignol .... hair stylist
Production Management
Claude Miller .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Suzanne Schiffman .... assistant director
Jean-François Stévenin .... assistant assistant director
Sound Department
Antoine Bonfanti .... sound mixer
René Levert .... sound
Harrik Maury .... sound
Marc Boyle .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Walter Bal .... camera operator
Dominique Chapuis .... assistant camera
Jean-Francis Gondre .... assistant camera
Pierre Zucca .... still photographer (uncredited)
Other crew
Christian Lentretien .... production administrator
Alex Maineri .... general manager
Christine Pellé .... script supervisor
Roland Thénot .... general manager
Dorothy Gish .... dedicatee
Lillian Gish .... dedicatee
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"La nuit américaine" - France (original title)
"The American Night" - International (English title) (literal title)
See more »
115 min
Black And White (dream sequences) | Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Australia:NRC (original rating) | Finland:S | Iceland:L | Japan:G (2009) | Netherlands:14 (original rating) | Peru:14 | Portugal:M/18 | Singapore:PG | Sweden:Btl | UK:PG | UK:AA (original rating) | UK:12 (re-rating) (2016) | USA:PG | West Germany:12
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.See more »
Revealing mistakes: When the director and the producer are browsing promotional photographs of the English actress, the actual name of "Jacqueline Bisset" can be briefly seen at the bottom of one of the photographs.See more »
Georges, le compositeur:[First lines] Let's all be quiet and play well. Slowly and relaxed, in my tempo. From the beginning. Strike up together. Here you can speed up. Don't leave any gaps. There, now all together. Hold that last chord. No sentimentality. Just play the notes.See more »
Movie Connections:


Why was this movie nominated for Academy Awards in two different years?
Why was the title changed?
See more »
14 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
Cinema Reine!, 15 December 2007
Author: Bill Slocum ( from Greenwich, CT United States

"No sentimentality - just play notes!" is the instruction we hear over the credits that open "Day For Night". About three seconds later, we see silent film stars Dorothy and Lillian Gish striking highly theatrical poses, with a signed inscription by director Francois Truffaut saying the film has been dedicated to them.

So is sentimentality a good thing or a bad thing? Truffaut may be playing it both ways, yet "Day For Night" makes a great argument in both directions. You need to feel something to pour so much heart and soul into movie-making, but you also need to be hard-hearted, say for example if an actor dies before a film is wrapped or a cat won't drink milk on cue. "Day For Night" strikes an amazing balance between hard and soft, happy and sad, comedy and tragedy, and in the end offers a unique take not only on movies but on life itself.

"What a funny life we lead," says the aging starlet Severine (Valentina Cortese), summing up "Day For Night's" take on the ephemerality of both departments. "We meet, we work together, we love each other, and then, as soon as we grasp something - pfft - it's gone. See?" But if there is some consolation in Truffaut's view, it is the companionship life offers, especially on a film set, where families of intense passion and strength can sprout up in an instant.

Cortese is a treat, with both her sweetness and her lighter moments. Severine tries to make a dramatic exit in one scene but keeps opening a closet door. Everyone in this film shines in some way, selling you utterly on the idea you are not watching a movie but eavesdropping on a real set, even as Truffaut constantly makes references to the fact "Day For Night" is a movie. Jacqueline Bisset plays an actress known for being in "that movie with the car chase" while Jean-Pierre Léaud's character's girlfriend complains "he wants the whole world to pay for his unhappy childhood."

Truffaut was responsible for Léaud's unhappy childhood, of course, but, avoiding sentimentality, makes his young actor protégé more of a heavy and comic foil this time out, playing not Antoine this time but another fellow named Alphonse. Léaud rewards his director with a genuinely funny take-off on his intensity from other Truffaut films.

I also love Bisset, who as Julie gives the film a bit of real heart as the one character who has something of a life beyond movies, with a middle-aged lover she cares for almost sheepishly. Yet it is she who exemplifies "the show must go on" by risking her life outside the picture in order to save the picture itself.

Even Truffaut does a good turn as a major character, playing a film director. Truffaut always worked best as a slightly ruffled authority figure, here urging a tipsy Severine not to go through her difficult scene reciting numbers: "In France, we have to say the lines!"

There's very little I would want to change in this film, not even the garish 1970s clothes which give this film an appropriate aura of informality. It's soapy, yes, but so's life at times, and like life, it really makes you want to stick around for the moments it gets right. Sentiment may be dangerous to performance, but it seems worth having around in the end.

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