3 user

House on the Waterfront (1955)

Port du désir (original title)


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Razzia (1955)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Henri, the Man from Nantes, comes back to his country after a successful stay in the United States, where he was working for Liski, the drug dealer. With the fame of being a tough guy ... See full summary »

Director: Henri Decoin
Stars: Jean Gabin, Marcel Dalio, Lino Ventura
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

André Chatelin is a restaurant owner in Les Halles in Paris. One morning, a girl named Catherine asks to see him. She happens to be the daughter of his estranged wife, Gabrielle, that André... See full summary »

Director: Julien Duvivier
Stars: Jean Gabin, Danièle Delorme, Robert Arnoux
The Old Guard (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Three old chums who are number ones in the business of practical jokes decide to leave their village from Vendée in France in order to go and live in a old people's nursing home. Pested off... See full summary »

Director: Gilles Grangier
Stars: Pierre Fresnay, Jean Gabin, Noël-Noël
La horse (1970)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Near the Baie de la Seine swamps, opposite the Port of Le Havre, Auguste Maroilleur, an elderly farmer, exploits 400 hectares of crop land with the help of his family, over which he rules ... See full summary »

Director: Pierre Granier-Deferre
Stars: Jean Gabin, Danièle Ajoret, Michel Barbey
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

This is a sequel to Jean de Florette. The daughter gets even.

Director: Marcel Pagnol
Stars: Edmond Ardisson, Henri Arius, Charles Blavette
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Director: Gilles Grangier
Stars: Jean Gabin, Françoise Fabian, Roland Armontel
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A French fugitive arrives in Genoa, where he becomes entangled with an Italian woman and her daughter.

Director: René Clément
Stars: Jean Gabin, Isa Miranda, Vera Talchi
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A wanted gangster is both king and prisoner of the Casbah. He is protected from arrest by his friends, but is torn by his desire for freedom outside. A visiting Parisian beauty may just tempt his fate.

Director: Julien Duvivier
Stars: Jean Gabin, Gabriel Gabrio, Saturnin Fabre
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two men, a painter and a poor guy, have to cross over Paris by night during World War II and to deliver black market meat. As they walk along dark Parisian streets, they encounter various ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Autant-Lara
Stars: Jean Gabin, Bourvil, Louis de Funès
Le chat (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Courbevoie (France), 1971. Julien Bouin, a former typographist, and his wife Clemence, who used to perform in a circus, hardly talk to each other in their small house, soon to be demolished... See full summary »

Director: Pierre Granier-Deferre
Stars: Jean Gabin, Simone Signoret, Annie Cordy
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In Paris, a gold smuggler is at war with other local gangsters who want piece of the action. Then the mob shows up and makes things worse. Also, an undercover US Treasury Department agent is trying to infiltrate the smuggle business.

Director: Denys de La Patellière
Stars: Jean Gabin, Gert Fröbe, George Raft
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A gentleman by the name of Bachi dies but can't be admitted into heaven because of an evil action committed during his lifetime. He is given the opportunity to return to the living for a ... See full summary »

Director: Luigi Zampa
Stars: Jean Gabin, Elli Parvo, Antonella Lualdi


Cast overview, first billed only:
Le commandant Lequévic
Andrée Debar ...
Henri Vidal ...
Edith Georges ...
Leopoldo Francés ...
Baba (as Leopoldo Frances)
René Sarvil ...
L'aveugle (as Sarvil)
Gaby Basset ...
Madame Aimée
Jacques Dynam ...
Le Meur
Gaston Orbal ...
Rossignol (as Orbal)
Edmond Ardisson ...
Le patron de la boîte (as Ardisson)
Mireille Ozy ...
Annette Maistre ...
Une entraîneuse
Yôko Tani ...
Une entraîneuse
Raymond Blot
Robert Berri ...
Frédo, le malfrat


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis


Someting Sinful Was Happening In Every Room




See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 April 1955 (France)  »

Also Known As:

House on the Waterfront  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


French censorship visa #15.182 See more »


Ah! C'que j'en fait
Lyrics by Jean Valmy
Music by Joseph Kosma
Sung by Edith Georges
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Waterfront brothel, smuggling, a sunken ship combine in seedy Marseilles tale
26 March 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What is the real running time of "Port du Desir"? Some dvds say it's 94m (PAL) and others say 114m. There's a version on Youtube that's cut, missing several very important scenes, and it runs 85m. I watched a version that runs 91 minutes that was taped from a television showing. I am sure it too has some small cuts. I think the correct time is 94m.

At any rate, this is a film well worth seeing. It has all sorts of interesting and captivating highlights. It can be classified as noir, due to its focus on a seedy brothel and criminal elements. However, in the end it doesn't come across as a pessimistic story. It doesn't have a strong noir tone or atmosphere of dislocation, instability or doom. In this it differs a lot from "Dedee d'Anvers" (1948) and "Port of Shadows" (1938), two other stories set in darkly lit ports. It has been revived in a Gabin film fest by The American Cinematheque in company with some other Gabin noirs. But in truth it's not as dark as "Grisbi" and "Le Rouge est Mis".

The title is well-chosen. The story is about the goings-on in one part of the port area of Marseilles known as Joliette. Several characters share almost equal screen time, including the leads Jean Gabin, Henri Vidal and Andree Debar. A number of supporting roles also are prominent, including Edith Georges as a dancer and singer, Leopoldo Frances as a black man who frequents the brothel/hotel run by Gaby Basset, and Jean-Roger Caussimon as the villainous sadistic smuggler.

In the pre-story, Caussimon had sunk a ship in the harbor with contraband and to cover up the murder of the sister of Debar. Shifting currents now require it be lifted, and Jean Gabin's salvage boat is hired. Henri Vidal is Gabin's diver, a decent guy who spends everything he earns on women, wine and good times. Debar arrives at the brothel, where Basset conspires with Caussimon. She's looking for her lost sister whom she hasn't heard from. Caussimon is out to get the submerged ship blown up and induces Vidal to the task. Caussimon's character is an interesting man without a conscience who has a fetish for hatpins. It's details like this strewn throughout this story that elevate it considerably. Gabin has a paternal interest in Debar, while Vidal's interest is amorous. He and Georges have an on-again, off-again relationship; she likes him but he won't commit, and she also likes him more when he has the money to buy her a fur coat. Vidal and Debar's relationship is filmed with a feeling that it is real love, but challenged by life's forces and their pursuers. Their possibly ill-fated love is filmed sensitively.

These elements afford ample opportunity for intrigue, some songs, some thuggery, some underwater diving, some neat location photography, and some difficulties for Vidal and Debar, who find themselves pursued by Caussimon's men. It's an enjoyable stew with a few surprises and interesting characters.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss House on the Waterfront (1955) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: