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Day for Night (1973)

La nuit américaine (original title)
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2:47 | Trailer

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A committed film director struggles to complete his movie while coping with a myriad of crises, personal and professional, among the cast and crew.

Director:

François Truffaut

Writers:

François Truffaut (screenplay), Jean-Louis Richard (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jacqueline Bisset ... Julie Baker
Valentina Cortese ... Séverine
Dani ... Liliane, la stagiaire scripte
Alexandra Stewart ... Stacey
Jean-Pierre Aumont ... Alexandre
Jean Champion Jean Champion ... Bertrand, le producteur
Jean-Pierre Léaud ... Alphonse (as Jean-Pierre Leaud)
François Truffaut ... Ferrand, le réalisateur
Nike Arrighi Nike Arrighi ... Odile, la maquilleuse
Nathalie Baye ... Joëlle, la scripte
Maurice Seveno Maurice Seveno ... Le reporter TV
David Markham David Markham ... Dr. Michael Nelson
Bernard Menez ... Bernard, l'accessoiriste
Gaston Joly Gaston Joly ... Lajoie, le régisseur
Zénaïde Rossi Zénaïde Rossi ... Madame Lajoie
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Storyline

The shooting of "Je vous presente Pamela" (may I introduce Pamela) begins. This is the story of en English married wife falling in love and running away with the father of her French husband. Will be simultaneously shown the shooting, the behavior of the people (including the technical team) on the set, and a part of their private life (a factor of complication)... Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A movie for people who love movies.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

7 September 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Day for Night See more »

Filming Locations:

Côte d'Azur, France See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,808, 27 July 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$17,808, 27 July 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (dream sequences)| Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In "Meet Pamela," the film-within-the-film, Pamela (Jacqueline Bisset) explains that she met Alphonse's character after the girl he was supposed to be with in England came down with chicken pox. This is a reference to Bisset's first movie role, in Stanley Donen's "Two for the Road," where architecture student Albert Finney ends up traveling through France with English girl Audrey Hepburn after the girl he was supposed to travel with (Bisset) comes down with chicken pox. See more »

Goofs

When Ferrand is talking to Julie in her room, his left ear appears without a hearing aid for a second. See more »

Quotes

Lajoie, le régisseur: Hey, the movie quiz!
TV Game Show Host: In what movie did Jeanne Moreau co-star with Orsen Welles, in a Shakespeare film?
Bernard, l'accessoiristeLajoie, le régisseur: Falstaff!
TV Game Show Host: In what movie was she Charles IX's sister and and Henry IV's wife?
Lajoie, le régisseur: Queen Margot
Bernard, l'accessoiriste: Right! You know your stuff.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This film is dedicated to Lillian and Dorothy Gish. See more »

Connections

References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A movie made with skill and affection
16 January 2006 | by marissas75See all my reviews

François Truffaut's "Day for Night" ("La nuit américaine") is a movie about the making of another movie, "Meet Pamela" ("Je vous présente Pamela"). From the snippets we see of "Meet Pamela", it looks like an insignificant and silly little film, even though its stars are fond of describing it to the press as a "modern tragedy." However, they mostly don't have time to philosophize about the larger meaning of "Meet Pamela"--they're just trying to film the darn thing!

"Day for Night" is an ensemble movie, showing how the many kinds of people on a film set surmount the many minor crises inherent in film-making. There are romantic entanglements and misalliances, as well as technical problems (e.g. the film's title refers to the necessity of shooting a nighttime scene using daylight and a special filter).

Valentina Cortese has some unforgettable, hilarious scenes as Severine, an alcoholic actress who can't remember her part. Also good are Nathalie Baye as an unflappable continuity girl; Jean-Pierre Léaud as an intense but callow young actor; and Jacqueline Bisset as an actress trying to survive the movie-making process after having suffered a nervous breakdown the prior year.

All these elements make "Day for Night" an entertaining movie. But upon reflection, I'm amazed at the craftsmanship it involved. Taking on the role of Ferrand, the director of "Meet Pamela," is Truffaut himself. He makes Ferrand into a professional, unassuming, and likable figure--it feels as though Truffaut put a lot of himself into his role. So it takes some conscious effort to disentangle Truffaut from Ferrand, but once that happens, Truffaut's astounding achievements become clear. As co-writer of the screenplay, Truffaut had a hand in everything that is said; as director of "Day for Night," he set up every shot in the movie. Even the shots in which he appears as Ferrand. Even the complicated shots that show the backstage workings of a movie set and feel so realistic that it's strange to think of them as having been set up. He shoots "Meet Pamela" unexceptionally, usually with a static camera (Ferrand-style) while the "real-life" scenes use hand-held cameras and other exciting techniques (Truffaut-style). It would probably take multiple viewings to appreciate all of what Truffaut did here.

I suppose this means that "Day for Night" is a noteworthy example of the "auteur theory." But that sounds like too dry and academic a summary for a movie that was made not only with superb skill, but also with a palpable love for cinema and love for life.


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