2 user 3 critic

Au grand balcon (1949)


Henri Decoin


Joseph Kessel (original scenario), Marcel Rivet (adaptation)
1 nomination. See more awards »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Cast overview, first billed only:
Pierre Fresnay ... Carbot
Georges Marchal ... Jean Fabien
Félix Oudart Félix Oudart ... Garandoux
Janine Crispin ... Maryse (as Jeannine Crispin de la Comédie Française)
Germaine Michel Germaine Michel ... Mlle Adeline
Abel Jacquin Abel Jacquin ... Darbouin
André Bervil André Bervil ... Triolet
Clément Thierry Clément Thierry ... Didier Fusain
Paul Azaïs ... Morel
Jacques Tarride Jacques Tarride ... Macherel
Nina Myral Nina Myral ... Mme Viard
André Darnay André Darnay ... Armezac
Pierre Cressoy ... Charlier
Jean Gaven ... Belfort (as Gaven)
Verlet Verlet


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis


They Raced With Death.....and WON See more »


Adventure | Drama


See all certifications »

User Reviews

French airmail.
19 January 2005 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Like John Ford's "airmail" and Howard Hawks 's "Only angels have wings" ,"au grand balcon" deals with the heroic pilots who struggled,suffered and often died to carry the mail .Their boss (a deadpan and seemingly insensitive Pierre Fresnay) wants them to consider the mail as a God.

George Marchal -who was often compared with Jean Marais- portrays one of these fearless daring pilots with gusto.A versatile actor,he could play sword and sandals as well as his friend Luis Bunuel 's much more ambitious opus ("cela s'appelle l'aurore" "la mort en ce jardin").

Henry Decoin 's directing is effective and avoids pathos whereas the numerous deaths could have turned the movie into a tear jerker.Two examples: -Marchal is lost in the snow,he wants to climb higher and higher because he knows that up there he will not be buried beneath .Thus ,his body will be found and his old mom will get the insurance money.This sequence abruptly ends in a way that will surprise -and maybe disappoint- the audience.

-Marchal's young protégé Didier is about to die ,far from his homeland ,but the pilot will have to leave the deathbed before the end .

"Au grand balcon" is the name of the boarding-house where the pilots live.Halfway between document and novel ,the movie achieves the feat of doing without a single love interest,which was rare at the time.

That said,it's not really a true Decoin movie;This director's forte was the film noir and he will be remembered for such works as "non coupable" or "la vérité sur Bébé Donge"."Au grand balcon" should appeal to people who like the two movies I mention at the beginning of my comment.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

4 May 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Au grand terrace See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed