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La nuit merveilleuse (1940)

A couple of refugees arrives in a village:he is a cabinet maker ,she's pregnant and the innkeeper refuses to give them a room;they wind up in the cowshed of a farm where she gives birth to her baby ,the very night of Christmas.

Director:

Jean-Paul Paulin

Writers:

André-Paul Antoine (dialogue), André-Paul Antoine (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fernandel ... Le berger
Charles Vanel ... Le fermier
Janine Darcey Janine Darcey ... La jeune femme
Fernand Charpin ... L'aubergiste
Jean Daurand Jean Daurand ... Le mari
Milly Mathis Milly Mathis ... La paysanne
Madeleine Robinson ... La réfugiée
Édouard Delmont Édouard Delmont ... Le vieux berger
Jean Aquistapace Jean Aquistapace ... Le voyageur
Jacques Erwin Jacques Erwin ... Le forgeron
Charlotte Clasis Charlotte Clasis ... La servante
Jane Marken ... Mathilde, l'hôtelière
René Fleur René Fleur ... L'explorateur
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Couty Bonneval Couty Bonneval
Wanny Teers Wanny Teers ... (as Wanny)
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Storyline

A couple of refugees arrives in a village:he is a cabinet maker ,she's pregnant and the innkeeper refuses to give them a room;they wind up in the cowshed of a farm where she gives birth to her baby ,the very night of Christmas.

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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

22 December 1948 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

De wonderbare nacht See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Prodiex See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

Was reportedly Maréchal Pétain's favorite movie. See more »

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User Reviews

When a child is born: December 24th,1940.
26 January 2015 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Jean¨-Paulin broached many genres : militarist works (Trois De saint-Cyr),adventures tingled with eroticism ("L'Esclave Blanc" in which a native appeared topless in 1936,historical tale ("Echec Au Roy" ) ,fantasy and horror ("L'Homme Qui Vendit Son Ame Au Diable").

During the first days of the Occupation,Maréchal Pétain suggested a movie should be made in aid of the Secours national; as the cast and credits read,they all heed the call:"the greatest actors of the French cinema are here":actually only a handful of these actors (Vanel,Fernandel,Madeleine Robinson,Charpin....) are still remembered today;none of them received any fee.

This is a re-telling of the story of the nativity ,set in Provences ,in the present time -in their last conversation,Vanel and Fernandel hint at the hard times to come :"we need to use our good side,our finer feelings,we need to all stand together" .

A couple of refugees arrives in a village:he is a cabinet maker ,she's pregnant and the innkeeper refuses to give them a room;they wind up in the cowshed of a farm where she has her baby ,the very night of Christmas ,complete with canticles and even three travelers who play the Magi .

Although this is not a movie some French people do remember proudly,it retains a pristine charm even today.

Probably inspired by Alphonse Daudet's short stories,the screenwriters intersperses their story with Provençal Legends (those of the blacksmith and of the donkey fit well in the plot);the depiction of the Provençal evening gathering,with its log and its Fougasse (sort of brioche)does not lack the human touch.

"Cinema De Vichy" ,that's for sure,but if you are interested in the past of the French cinema,you should watch it.

NB : although it was postponed till December 1948 in Paris ,its premiere did take place in Vichy in December 1940 ,the 24th.


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