7.0/10
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10 user 3 critic

Beauties of the Night (1952)

Les belles de nuit (original title)
Approved | | Comedy, Fantasy, Music | April 1954 (USA)
A young composer has vivid dreams of the past that reflect, yet conflict with his waking life.

Director:

René Clair

Writers:

René Clair (scenario), René Clair (adaptation) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gérard Philipe ... Claude - un jeune compositeur rêveur
Martine Carol ... Edmée 1900 / Edmée de Villebois
Gina Lollobrigida ... La caissière du Grand Café / Leïla 1830
Magali Vendeuil Magali Vendeuil ... Suzanne - la fille du garagiste / Suzanne 1789
Marilyn Buferd ... La postière / Madame Bonacieux (as Marylin Bufferd)
Raymond Bussières ... Roger - le garagiste / le tambour
Raymond Cordy ... Gaston / Le marquis
Bernard Lajarrige Bernard Lajarrige ... Léon - le gendarme
Albert Michel Albert Michel ... Le facteur / Un révolutionnaire
Palau ... Le vieux monsieur qui critique toutes les époques
Jean Parédès Jean Parédès ... Paul - le pharmacien
Paolo Stoppa Paolo Stoppa ... Le directeur de l'Opéra
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Le Choeur Marguerite Mercier Le Choeur Marguerite Mercier ... Les choristes
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Storyline

Young Claude, teacher by day, is a struggling composer by night. Alas, everyone around him seems to prefer noise to music. But in his dreams, he lives in other eras where he is appreciated, lionized, and the conquerer of delicious women (idealized forms of women he's seen in waking life). The dreams are suitably dreamlike, yet have a kind of reality, for he revisits them after waking. The conflict between waking and dream worlds leads to amusing, strange, even fantastic situations. Which world will prevail? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Bon Bon From the Master of Comedy


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

April 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Beauties of the Night See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Finnish censorship visa # 38333 delivered on 19-5-1953. See more »

Alternate Versions

The dubbed Italian version incorporates shots of road signs written in Italian. See more »

Connections

Referenced in New Reports from France: Chroniques de France N° 11 (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Je vous reverrai chaque nuit
Written by Georges Van Parys
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pure Delight From Start to Finish
29 October 2007 | by MidWestGuy-2See all my reviews

I have been puzzled by some of the other comments so I am adding one of my own. I think your reaction to this movie comes down to two words: fantasy and charm. It is a fantasy, and it has a very great deal of charm. If those appeals to you, you will enjoy this movie immensely as I did. If they don't, well the movie is so good you will probably still like it anyway.

I rated this film a 10 because I couldn't find a thing not to like. Gerard Philipe is charming (that word again) and appealing. All the women are gorgeous. The supporting cast is excellent. And since Phillip's character Claude is an aspiring composer there is a great deal of beautiful music in his dreams.

What I noticed especially about the film was how Clair kept inventing ways to keep the idea fresh. You might think that a movie which basically shows a man's dreams would fun out of steam pretty fast but Clair is clever enough to keep it fresh and entertaining. For example, Claude constantly says that all he wants to do is sleep--and given his dreams, who wouldn't--and his friends interpret this as expressing a desire to commit suicide! So the efforts of his friends to prevent his "suicide" throws a new wrinkle into the story.

My only complaint with the VHS version I saw were the English subtitles. First, they were in white, so that anytime they were in front of a white background you didn't know what the speaker was saying. And second, even though I don's speak French I am sure that the English subtitles came nowhere near doing justice to the original French dialog.

This is a worthy candidate for a Criterion DVD. An unhesitant 10 out of 10.


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