16 user 42 critic

Promise at Dawn (2017)

La promesse de l'aube (original title)
2:12 | Trailer
From his childhood in Poland to his adolescence in Nice to his years as a student in Paris and his tough training as a pilot during World War II, this tragi-comedy tells the romantic story ... See full summary »


Eric Barbier
1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Pierre Niney ... Roman Kacew, dit Romain Gary
Charlotte Gainsbourg ... Nina Kacew
Didier Bourdon ... Alex Gubernatis
Jean-Pierre Darroussin ... Zaremba
Catherine McCormack ... Lesley Blanch
Finnegan Oldfield ... Capitaine Langer
Pawel Puchalski Pawel Puchalski ... Romain (8-10 ans)
Némo Schiffman Némo Schiffman ... Romain (14-16 ans)
Zoe Boyle ... La poétesse
Lou Chauvain Lou Chauvain ... Mariette
Emiliano Suarez Emiliano Suarez ... Le chauffeur de taxi Mexique
Alberto Maneiro ... Le médecin hôpital Mexico
Preciado Rodriguez Preciado Rodriguez ... Le réceptionniste hôtel Puebla
Katarzyna Skarzanka Katarzyna Skarzanka ... Aniela
Marta Klubowicz ... Madame Podowska


From his childhood in Poland to his adolescence in Nice to his years as a student in Paris and his tough training as a pilot during World War II, this tragi-comedy tells the romantic story of Romain Gary, one of the most famous French novelists and sole writer to have won the Goncourt Prize for French literature two times. Written by pathé international

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Did You Know?


Romain Gary, the author of the autobiographical novel on which this movie is based, directed two films: Birds in Peru (1968) and Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! (1971). See more »


Roman Kacew, dit Romain Gary: I made the promise to straighten the world and lay it at his feet
See more »


Features La Libération de Paris (1944) See more »


The Young Mariner
Composed by Max Richter
See more »

User Reviews

Meandering yet ultimately fascinating biopic
27 April 2018 | by danreed80See all my reviews

Watched it on a recent flight to Paris and glad that I did since I probably wouldn't have paid to see it (not the biggest Gainsbourg fan) and would've missed out on a modern classic. The two main characters in the film, the mother (Gainsbourg) and the son (Niney) carry the film due to the inspired performances of the actors playing those roles. Gainsbourg, in particular, gave a finely-tuned, nuanced performance that perfectly captured the extraordinarily devoted yet overbearing character of Nina; I'm now a big fan! Also inspired were the cinematography and the breathtaking dogfight scenes, which were probably the best I've seen in any war film. The first half of the film does meander a bit and the pace of it gets a bit patchy (hence the 9 stars instead of 10) but the second half more than makes up for it. I didn't know the film was based on a true story (i.e. Romain Gary's biography) until I read the closing credits, which made it that much more impactful and emphatic since real people actually lived the epic events portrayed in the film. The closing credits also had another shock but I won't reveal it here so that I won't spoil the film! All in all, this was probably the best film I've seen in a long while; it felt genuine, engrossing and it left me with tears in my eyes, though the airplane food may have contributed to that.

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France | Belgium


French | Polish | Spanish | English

Release Date:

6 September 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Promise at Dawn See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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