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:
Simply the greatest film about making a film ever made! 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?

François Truffaut, an early contender to direct The Stunt Man (1980), borrowed elements from that films's source, the Paul Brodeur novel of the same name, for this film's story.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:
Version of The Stunt Man (1980)See more »


Why was this movie nominated for Academy Awards in two different years?
Why was the title changed?
See more »
74 out of 85 people found the following review useful.
Simply the greatest film about making a film ever made!, 30 September 2003
Author: RWiggum from Erlangen, Germany

"Shooting a movie is like a stagecoach trip. At first you hope for a nice ride. Then you just hope to reach your destination."

Early in the film, director Ferrand, played by François Truffaut, says this in a voice-over of 'Day for Night'. A lot of the film illustrates that this is a very true sentence.

In his legendary Hitchcock book, Truffaut says at one point that it would be a nice idea to make a film about making a film, and Hitchcock agrees. Luckily Truffaut liked that idea enough to actually make this film, as 'Day for Night' is probably the best film ever made about making a film.

We are on the set of 'Meet Pamela'. 'Meet Pamela' is a love and revenge story, about a man falling in love with daughter-in-law. It looks very much like a pretty mediocre film. I doubt I would like it. But that's good, as it doesn't distract us from what's happening on the set, from the many characters.

We get to know the cast and crew of 'Meet Pamela': Julie Baker, a second generation Hollywood star whose nervous breakdown she's recovering from causes insurance problems; Alphonse, a very jealous, very neurotic French actor who's so madly in love with a girl he organizes the job of the script girl for her just to have her near; Alexandre, a veteran actor who played many lovers in his life, but is actually a closet homosexual; Severine, an Italian actress with an alcohol problem who used to play opposite Alexandre frequently in her career, but hasn't talked to him in years, maybe because she found out she had no chance to become his real-life lover. From the crew, we especially remember Joelle, the production assistant who almost seems to be more involved in the making of the film than director Ferrand (it is her who has the film's most often quoted line: "I'd drop a guy for a film, but I'd never drop a film for a guy"), Liliane, the girl who got the job as a script girl only because Alphonse wanted to have her around him, who doesn't really seem to be interested in the film - or in Alphonse; Odile, the makeup girl who also got a bit part in the film; Bernard, the prop man, who gives us with his every day work a look behind the scenes of a film; and the unit manager Lajoie, whose wife is always around and at one point shouts at the cast and crew because she just can't understand their 'immoral' behavior.

The film doesn't have a plot of it's own, but it shows us all these characters and their problems, trying to get a film made and getting over one catastrophe after the next, sometimes something as harmless as a kitten refusing to drink milk or Stacey, a supporting actress causing scheduling problems because of her pregnancy, sometimes something more serious as Alphonse refusing to go on acting after Liliane leaves the set with a stunt man, with even more complications to follow when Julie tries to cure Alphonse's neurosis. But not even a lethal car accident can stop the making of the film.

'Day for Night' also has brilliant performances, but three stand out: Nathalie Baye in her first notable performance as the omni-competent Joelle and Jean-Pierre Léaud, who never was better in his life than here as Alphonse, would make it a worthwhile film alone. But it is Valentina Cortese who steals the show as the fading actress Severine. Her scene opposite Alexandre in which she can't remember her dialog and suggests just saying numbers (she did the same when she worked with "Federico") is priceless.

At one point Ferrand says that a director is a man who is constantly asked many questions and sometimes knows the answer, and it is sort of a surprise that the one man who "invented" the auteur theory, which more or less says that a film is the director's work, makes a film that shows how many people's work is involved in the making of a film. But it is not only a film about people making films: Many of the characters (most notably Ferrand, Alphonse and Joelle) are film enthusiasts, and the entire film is a film from a film lover about film lovers for film lovers. It's Truffaut's best and shouldn't be missed by cinephiles.

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