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Directed by Marcel Carné

France 1939 93 mins. In French

Like his classic The Children of Paradise, Carné’s haunting noir is one of the classics of French poetic realism and considered by many to be his greatest film. François (Jean Gabin), a factory worker, reflects on the circumstances of love, rivalry, and betrayal that have led to his standoff in a police dragnet. Holed up in a claustrophobic flat, he reflects on the circumstances—a love affair with Francoise (Jacqueline Laurent), the knowledge that she is under the spell of the devious Valentin (Jules Berry), and a romance with Clara (Arletty), Valentin’s assistant—that have led him, inexorably, to murder. “An unapologetically adult classic of Romantic Fatalism…Of all the memorable films starring French icon Jean Gabin, none more richly rewards a viewing today than Carné’s melancholy masterpiece.”– Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times.

Genres: Drama

Appears in: Classic French Cinema