Life's a rotten business, says Jean, a deserter who arrives at night in Le Havre, looking to leave the country. He lucks into civilian clothes, a little bit of money, a passport, and a dog, and he also meets Nelly, a 17-year-old who's grown up too fast. She's the object of lust of men: including a boyfriend Maurice, her putative protector Zabel, and Lucien, a local hood. Jean falls for her, faces down Lucien, and gives her courage to stand on her own feet. A ship is leaving for Venezuela; can at least one of them be on it, or is that just a dream?Written by
An early example of part of a film being shown to the public in advance of its release: In May 1938, before Port of Shadows had finished shooting, the French Cinematheque showed an excerpt from the footage in progress. See more »
As the truck approaches Le Havre, Jean's cigarette is at full length in the shot from outside the truck, but in the close-up it has instantly changed into a butt. See more »
I'm going for a swim; the sea is rough and it's foggy.
Just telling it like it is: The sea is rough and it's foggy; and that's just fine. I'm no great swimmer, but I have a hunch I'll end up very far out.
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Jean Gabin and Michelle Morgan star in the stylish Marcel Carne film, "Port of Shadows," made in 1938. There is simply no one like Jean Gabin - Hollywood had no idea what to do with him - here he was, this amazing leading man who looked like a character actor. Thankfully, the French knew what they had and kept him busy for 48 years.
Gabin plays Jean, a military deserter who comes into the French port of Le Havre, intending to leave aboard ship for Venezuela. He meets the beautiful Nelly and is adopted by a small dog. Nelly is a real man magnet; she has a boyfriend Maurice, a father figure who is in love with her named Zabel, and Lucien, a hood in love with her. She and Jean fall in love, even though in her heart she knows that he has to leave Le Havre.
These French films out-noir American film noirs, and this is a stylish, dark film filled with sadness, with a depressing ambiance throughout. If you were miserable when you started watching it, you'll be a mess when it's over. What I've gone through for Gabin - he was in so many dark, depressing films! If you're a fan of film noir (and/or Gabin), this is for you.
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