LE JOUR SE LEVE / LE JOUR SE LEVE

SYNOPSIS
This paragon of “poetic realist” cinema from 1939 was the fourth
collaboration between director Marcel Carné and screenwriter Jacques
Prévert, who enjoyed one of the most illustrious partnerships in movie
history. (They are the team responsible for 1945’s Children of Paradise,
perhaps the most beloved French film of all time.) Le jour se lève begins
with a jolt: An elegantly dressed gentleman, already dead from multiple
gunshots, tumbles down a flight of stairs in a Paris tenement. As the
police swarm the building, the man who pulled the trigger, François
(Jean Gabin), barricades himself in his garret. Through puffs of
countless cigarettes, François silently recalls what led to this violent act
via flashback. This gruff foundry worker, we learn, was in love with two
women: innocent florist Françoise (Jacqueline Laurent) and hardened
entertainer Clara (Arletty), both of whom were attached to the devious
Valentin (Jules Berry). The raging animosity between the two men led
to the fatal confrontation witnessed in the film’s beginning; by its end,
there will be another death. Suffused with despair, Le jour se lève, released
just a few months before France and the UK declared war on Germany,
uncannily anticipates the unrelenting real-life misery to come.

“A glorious restoration that invigorates the original! Restores several cuts demanded
by the Vichy regime [Its] extraordinary cinematography, replete with chiaroscuro
lighting and vertiginous shooting angles, Prefigures American Film Noir.”
—Anna King, Time Out New York

DIRECTOR
Marcel Carné

SCREENPLAY
Jacques Prévert and Jacques Viot

CAST
Arletty
Jules Berry
Jean Gabin

GENRE Drama
LANGUAGE French
RUNNING TIME 93’
PRODUCTION France, 1939
FORMAT(S) Blu-Ray, DCP, DVD

DISTRIBUTOR
Rialto Pictures