Although Jean-Pierre Melville had his eye on Georges Simenon's novel (it would have made an interesting comparison with his Deux Hommes dans Manhattan), it was Carné who eventually made a fairly decent fist of the story of lost French souls in the Big Apple. When his wife leaves him for a younger man, actor Ronet crosses the Atlantic hoping for work, but finds himself at a loose end until he encounters alluring yet enigmatic Girardot, seeking refuge in the city for very different reasons. While Ronet offers a variation on his role in Le Feu Follet, Girardot's rendering of a woman at a crossroads won her the best actress award at Venice. Although slightly becalmed by lengthy dialogue, the film still delivers plenty of neonlit atmosphere and a smokin' jazz soundtrack (undervalued pianist Waldron also appears). Oh, and the eagle-eyed will spot a youthful Robert De Niro as a customer in an all-night burger bar.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Marcel Carné, Jacques Sigurd|
Robert De Niro