Jean Gabin emerges from the fog like a ghost, 20 kilometres from Le Havre, for this moody, 1938 poetic realist fable from Marcel Carné with a ruminating, existential script by Jacques Prévert. Gabin is Jean, an army deserter, full of mystery and keen to divorce himself from life as he knows it, but the enveloping shadows of the Normandy port gradually draw him in and refuse to let him leave. Jean spends a night in an isolated quayside bar – a musty purgatory for lost souls – and his brooding affection for Nelly (Michèle Morgan) soon draws him into confrontations with her scheming godfather, Zabel (Michel Simon), and a prissy, sharp-suited local hood, Lucien (Pierre Brasseur). Essentially, this is film noir, so there’s crime and romance, but both are submerged beneath a resolutely ground-level exploration of lives in crisis – a mood bolstered by shots of the down-and-dirty French port groaning into action.
|Release date:||Friday May 4 2012|
Cast and crew