French Cinema of the 1930s

German Occupation of France


For more info, see "Time Line - Europe - March 1938-May 1941" (pdf format, 5)

Poetic Realism

Marcel Carné

Source: Richardson.

Jean Gabin and Michèle Morgan in Marcel Carné's Port of Shadows (1938, Le Quai des brumes)

"A deserter (Jean) encounters in a harbor a poor girl (Nelly). They fall in love but he kills his girl-friend's tutor who wanted to rape her. At last he's killed himself by a hooligan and the ship he wanted to go aboard to escape goes away without him." (IMDb)

Hotel du Nord and Le Jour se Lève

click for larger image


Studio settings, rarely on location

Le Jour Se Lève set design by Alexandre Trauner.

"Evocative physical detail" -- setting/props used for "symbolic" purposes (Andrew, 116).

For example, Le Jour Se Lève:

Problems With Our Copy of Le Jour Se Lève

The subtitling on our print excludes some key dialogue--including a sexually frank discussion between François and Clara. Details available here.


1. The Internet Movie Database Ltd., Copyright 1990-1998.

2. Andrew, Dudley. "Poetic Realism." In Rediscovering French Cinema. Ed. Mary Lea Baudy. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1983.

3. Carné, Marcel and Jacques Prevért. Le Jour Se Lève. Translated and with a description of the action by Dinah Brooke and Nicola Hayden. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1970.

4. Jewish Virtual Library, "German Occupied Europe,"

5. Penn State Maps Library, "Time Line - Europe - March 1938-May 1941," .

6. Jim Richardson, "The Greatest Film Ever Made," Der Stump, 7/16/75, reprinted 8/15/00 in an abridged version without images at: The Internet Movie Database Ltd. (IMDb) &

7. "Marcel Carné," .

8. Cinessonne, "Marcel Carné,"

Last Revised: January 24, 2005 9:24 AM