During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from.
A young couple, Renee and Pierre, take one night a room at the Hotel du Nord, in Paris, near the canal Saint-Martin. They want to die together, but after having shooted at Renee, Pierre ... See full summary »
Strolling indolently around the 1830s vibrant Parisian avenue called the Boulevard du Crime, the graceful and elusive courtesan, Garance, finds herself wrongfully accused of pickpocketing. But, amid a sea of jugglers, sideshow performers, streetwalkers, and crooks, the silently eloquent mime, Baptiste, comes to her rescue, only to hopelessly fall for her. And just like that, love's sweet torture befalls the delicate pantomimist, as the insufferable burden of knowing that the object of his desire can never belong to anyone, will heartlessly haunt him for years to come. Many have tried to seize her heart--the flamboyant thespian, Frédérick Lemaître; the criminal dandy, Pierre-François Lacenaire, and the imperious but loveless Count, Édouard de Montray--however, Garance, after so many barren years, now seems to need only one man. In the end, trusting a frail and modest rose is beautiful but cruel. Is there anyone who can accept the naked truth of an unrequited love?Written by
The Horatti and Curatii are two families of ancient Latium. A war between two cities of Latium, Rome and Alba Longa, was to be decided by a combat between the three Horatii bothers (Rome) and the three Curatii brothers (Alba Longa). The Horatii won, but of the six combatants only one survived. A painting by Jacques Louis David portrays the Horatii before the battle. See more »
In the outdoor market scene, the amount of food laid out on the tables varies from shot to shot. The reason is that the extras were famished from years of wartime food rationing, and stole food whenever they were not closely watched. See more »
I've never forgotten you. You were even in my dreams. You saved me from growing old, dull and used up. My life was so empty. I felt so alone. But I kept thinking: I've no right to be sad. I'm happy. Someone loved me.
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There are various alternate cuts of this film; the complete version runs 195 minutes and has been restored on video. See more »
This is not legend .This is fact.And anybody who would not have seen it could not claim to know the French cinema,had he even seen the whole Godard filmography.
Those were the occupation years."Les visiteurs du soir" which preceded "children of paradise" took place in the MIddle Ages ,it was an alibi .Ditto for "children" .Carné and Prévert chose the nineteenth century,and their screenplay drew its inspiration from Balzac,Hugo and Eugène Sue.They created characters (Garance,Jericho and the count Montray) and they introduced real life ones :Baptiste Debureau belongs to the legend,but he did exist ,he is often mentioned even in contemporary songs such as Charles Aznavour' s "les comedians" .He invented the Pierrot character,as dear to the French collective memory as Charlie Chaplin .Lacenaire was also a notorious criminal who died on a guillotine:recently,in the early sixties,he was devoted a whole movie,questionable though (see "Lacenaire " by Francis Girod);his partner in crime ,Avril,also appears (Fabien Loris's part).Frederic Lemaitre was a comedian who created "l'auberge des adrets" -a melodrama he turns into a farce in the movie- and other melodramas.
Prevert was at his best and most of his lines are memorable.Arletty /Garance epitomized his spirit,she WAS "je suis comme je suis" flesh on the bone.Since word plays and poetry abound,I urge non -French people to see the movie in French with subtitles.Anyway who could dub the unique Arletty?Her voice is inimitable.
Admirable sequences: the "boulevard du crime" with its crowds ,its attractions ; the sensational mime show by Jean-Louis Barrault;the perfectly captured atmosphere of the theater;Garance in the count's luxury apartment;the carnival which remains today maybe the finest final of any French movie.
Mixing real life and fiction (mime,drama) ,Marcel Carné predates Truffaut's much inferior "day for night" by thirty years ,which subject had already been treated by André Cayatte ("les amants de Verone" ,with another Prevert script).The sequences seem to follow naturally,we do not feel any gap between what is lived and what is acted .
Alexandre Trauner's -who clandestinely worked - film sets were all the more impressive as they were made at a time where the disposable funds were not that much high .
Arletty could not attend the premiere for she was in jail.Like Clouzot and so many others ,she was unfairly blacklisted for the wrong reasons (she had loved a German -whom she knew before the war;she had always said she did not want to have a child because he would become a soldier).Her career was partly broken and she never had the parts she deserved afterward.
Marcel Carné was ,along with Jean Renoir and Julien Duvivier,the best director of those somber years,that is to say one of the three best directors of the French cinema.
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