Perhaps unwisely, despite Vilar's fine performance, Destiny is personified in this tail-end example of the Carné-Prévert collaboration, offering doom-laden warnings which the characters ignore as they rush to meet their fates. Carné wasn't too happy about Prévert's dated populism, evident here in the suggestion that France's legacy from the Occupation was a heroic working class and a bourgeoisie of collaborators or profiteers. Stemming from this, the film's main problem is its contrived characters, not helped by Brasseur at his most hysterical, with Montand and Nattier hopelessly inadequate in roles written for Gabin and Dietrich. Only Reggiani really impresses as a young collaborator tormented by self-loathing. The evocation of nocturnal Paris (the action takes place from dusk to dawn) is hauntingly beautiful, but this is a hollow film.
Les Portes de la Nuit
Cast and crew