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Gates of the Night (1946)

Les portes de la nuit (original title)
It's Paris in the winter after its liberation. A tramp who may also be Destiny predicts that Jean Diego will fall in love with a beautiful girl. That same evening, Jean meets Malou.


Marcel Carné


Jacques Prévert (ballet "Le rendez-vous"), Jacques Prévert (scenario and dialogue)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pierre Brasseur ... Georges
Serge Reggiani ... Guy Sénéchal
Yves Montand ... Jean Diego
Nathalie Nattier Nathalie Nattier ... Malou
Saturnin Fabre ... Monsieur Sénéchal
Raymond Bussières ... Raymond Lécuyer
Jean Vilar Jean Vilar ... Le clochard / La fortune
Sylvia Bataille ... Claire Lécuyer
Jane Marken ... Mme Germaine (as Jeanne Marken)
Dany Robin ... Étiennette
Gabrielle Fontan Gabrielle Fontan ... La vieille
Christian Simon Christian Simon ... Cricri Lécuyer
Jean Maxime Jean Maxime ... L'amoureux d'Étiennette
Fabien Loris Fabien Loris ... Le chanteur des rues
René Blancard ... Le voisin de palier


It's Paris in the winter after its liberation. A tramp who may also be Destiny predicts that Jean Diego will fall in love with a beautiful girl. That same evening, Jean meets Malou. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

15 March 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gates of the Night See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Edith Piaf personally - and persistently - lobbied Marcel Carné to choose her then-lover Yves Montand for the role of Jean Diego. See more »


Featured in Voyage à travers le cinéma français (2016) See more »


Les Feuilles Mortes
Music by Joseph Kosma
Lyrics by Jacques Prévert
Performed by Yves Montand and Nathalie Nattier
See more »

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User Reviews

Well worth seeing
26 April 2013 | by bob998See all my reviews

This started out as a ballet choreographed by Roland Petit called Le Rendez-vous, with a libretto by Prevert and music by Kosma. This ballet was one of Petit's finest works and was in fact given a new production in Paris only last month (March 2013). Carne saw the possibilities in the story and had Prevert write the screenplay. No expense was spared, we are told, to recreate the world of Barbes-Rochechouart, with the replica of the Metro station built on set. It is fashionable with some people to dismiss this film because Gabin and Dietrich aren't in it, or for some other reason having to do with politics, but I found it a wonderful experience. My only complaint is with Vilar's character, which was transferred from the ballet apparently, and is very tiresome indeed. His windy philosophizing only diminishes the enjoyment I felt in the story.

The actors do a tremendous job. Saturnin Fabre as the father of Malou and Guy, with his fake expressions of affection for his long-lost daughter--she had spent some years singing in New York--and his reluctance to admit to his collaboration with the Germans gives a strong performance. Raymond Bussieres as the train driver is a wonderful foil for Montand. Serge Reggiani as Guy, the militia member who denounced Bussieres to the Gestapo is creepy and cynical. He would have shot his father if the latter had tried to prevent him from escaping. Pierre Brasseur again shows us why he was one of the greatest actors in France: his businessman with the shady dealings that horrify his wife is very well crafted, given the small number of lines he has.

Finally Montand and Nattier are not replacements for Gabin and Dietrich, they are better because younger and much less prone to give actorish performances. You can see Montand working out how to play a scene. His responses are lively and right. Nattier looks great--every bit as glamorous as Dietrich, and she can sing too. Her scene with Fabre sizzles with anger and disappointment.

This movie is so much better than the limp confections that followed: La Marie du port, Therese Raquin, Le pays d'ou je viens, Les tricheurs and others. Carne was still fairly young and hadn't started to phone the work in.

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