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Le Jour Se Leve [DVD] 
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Marcel Carné directs this classic French romantic drama starring Jean Gabin. François (Gabin), a factory worker, has love affairs with a flower girl, Françoise (Jacqueline Laurent), and a performer, Clara (Arletty), both of whom have been involved with seedy, older man Valentin (Jules Berry). When the two men come face-to-face a jealous François ends up killing Valentin. As the police close in on him, François barricades himself in a small room, going over the events which led him into such desperate straits.
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Top Customer Reviews
It stars the incomparable Jean Gabin (La Grande Illusion - Special Edition [DVD] ) as foundry worker Francois, who kills the sleazy, sadistic, womanizing dog act performer Valentin (Jules Berry) to help the young florist he loves, Francoise, escape from Valentin's clutches. Francois then retreats to his furnished room, reflecting on the events that drove him to murder, including his unromantic sexual affair with Valentin's former stage assistant, Clara, played by the ever-beauteous Arletty(Les Enfants Du Paradis [DVD] ), as he waits for the police to renew their assault on him at daybreak.
Well, in outline, it does sound bleak, doesn't it, and the material is. Yet, such is the magic of Carne's vision, and Gabin's muscular acting, that it is not tedious, though you might expect it would be. Much of the tale is told in flashback, as Carne delivers a film of great lyrical beauty, widely considered a monument to the French between-the-wars film school of "poetic realism," though a lot of it looks more like German Expressionism to me.Read more ›
The plot, on the face of it, is simple. Man shoots other man for unknown reasons and then waits, holed up in a bedsit, for the Police to come at daybreak and seal his fate. He reviews the events that have led to this impasse. As in all the best films, things aren't what they initially appear to be, and the actions, feelings and motivations of the various characters unfold as the film progresses, sometimes quite surprisingly.
Jean Gabin puts in what is arguably his finest performance. Jules Berry is a suitably lubricious and plausible villain, while Arletty is spot-on as the world-weary woman who's been round the block of life a few times too many.
If you're unacquainted with the magic of French films of this period and want to give it a try, you won't go far wrong with this one.
The film stars the inestimable Jean Gabin as Francois, a foundry worker who falls for flower shop worker Francoise (Jacqueline Laurent), only to discover that Francoise is already attracted to theatrical performer Valentin (brilliantly played by Jules Berry). At the same time Francois has also met, and developed a mutual attraction with Valentin's sidekick Clara (played by Arletty), albeit this does not deflect Francois from his true object of desire, Francoise. Following a number of meetings and confrontations between Francois and Valentin, eventually Francois' frustration and anger erupts as he shoots Valentin dead. The police surround Francois in his appartment, eventually driving him to suicide.
The film has elements of film noir and poetic realism, and the flashback narration by Francois is reminiscent of that in the ultimate film noir, Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity. Carne's pacing of the film is slow, but builds an effective and atmospheric tale of the working man, fed up with his lot in his mundane job, yearning for romance and glamour, finally being pushed too far and reaching his breaking point with tragic consequences.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I expected the picture to be only average quality in a film of this age but the sound was very poor and at times I could not hear it at all. It was also very uneven. Read morePublished 23 months ago by J.A.D.
I enjoy French films and and was looking to renew my acquaintance with films that as a teenager or young adult I had seen or heard about. Le jour se leve does not disappoint. Read morePublished on 24 Oct. 2010 by Gerardoux