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Day for Night

4.3 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The leading lady is recovering from a nervous breakdown, another performer is soused on the set, unions threaten to walk, shooting must finish before the insurance lapses and a cat can't hit its mark. Is this any way to make a film? FRANCOIS TRUFFAUT's sly, humorous OscarO-winning Best Foreign Language Film (1973) that speaks the language of everyone who loves movies. JACQUELINE BISSET, JEAN-PIERRE AUMONT, VALENTINA CORTESE, NATHALIE BAYE and Truffaut star.

Special Features

  • All-New Documentaries:
  • Day for Night: An Appreciation with BOB BALABAN and Biographer ANNETTE INSDORF
  • Day for Night by JACQUELINE BISSET and NATHALIE BAYE
  • Making-of Documentary "Truffaut: A View from the Inside"
  • Interviews:
  • VALENTINA CORTESE Interview
  • 2 TRUFFAUT Interviews, One from the 1973 Cannes Film Festival and the Other from the 1973 National Society of Film Critics Awards

Product Details

  • Actors: Jacqueline Bisset, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Nathalie Baye, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Valentina Cortese
  • Directors: François Truffaut
  • Writers: François Truffaut, Jean-Louis Richard, Suzanne Schiffman
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 18, 2003
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007G1ZE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,414 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Day for Night" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
For years i have been not watching this film -- one of my very favourites -- because it was only available on VHS in an abysmally-dubbed version.
Well, now it's on DVD with the original French track and subtitles in English, and it's just as great as i've been remembering it from the last chance i had to see it theatrically.
The video transfer looks excellent, the sound is good, and the film is the film.
And there are goodies galore on the DVD as well; i haven't finished all of them yet.
If you haven't seen this film, now is the time to do so.
((The dubbed track is included for people who simply can't deal with subtitles.))
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Format: VHS Tape
La Nuit Américaine is an interesting movie with celebrated French director Francois Truffaut playing a director making a movie. He proves to be a modest and convincing actor himself while patiently weaving a tale about how movies are made and how intense the emotional interactions among those making the movie can be.

Don't give up on this one too soon. It starts slow and seems almost amateurish because of the relatively low-tech way the film within the film is being shot. Truffaut gives us a glimpse of how the production crew works together (and sometimes at odds) while showing us some of the things that can go wrong while making a movie. He begins with the technical details of the production but before long begins to concentrate on the personalities of the movie-makers and their individual stories. Each story is carefully crafted in a somewhat leisurely way almost like the characterizations in a soap opera (without of course the phony drama and mass market sentimentality seen on TV). Truffaut's fine sense of emotional conflict and how conflict might be resolved makes the various stories touching without being maudlin.

Jacqueline Bisset who stars as English actress Julia Baker who plays the title role in the film within the film (May I Introduce Pamela?) doesn't make her appearance until about a fourth of the way in. She is a delight as an actress with a heart of gold recovering from a nervous breakdown married to an older man whom she does indeed love. Jean-Pierre Leaud, whom most viewers will recall as the running boy in Truffaut's The 400 Blows, plays a young and not entirely confident actor who gets jilted by the script girl who runs off with the stunt man during production.
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Format: DVD
For those of you who haven't seen any films by the late, great French director, Francois Truffaut, Day For Night (French title: La Nuit Americaine) is a great introduction. This actually won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, and it is evident why. Day For Night is really a valentine to Francois Truffaut's love affair with cinema. This is a great and intriguing story (a sort of film within a film approach). Ferrand (played by Truffaut) is the hardworking film director, trying to line all of his ducks in a row, to film and complete his movie, "Je Vous Presente Pamela." As is often the case, nothing is going quite as was planned. For starters, his beautiful lead, Julie (Jacqueline Bisset), is recovering from a breakdown. Her co-star (Jean Pierre Leaud) is completely unreliable, and Severine (Valentina Cortese), an aging actress, is hitting the bottle pretty hard during the filming of their picture. What's more, all sorts of other intrigues are taking place between members of the crew (romantic and otherwise).

I love this shot because it almost seems like a pseudo-documentary, as well as a loving tribute to the blood, sweat and tears that go into making a film. How great that Truffaut got in front of the camera for this piece. He really should have done it more often. This film is equally funny and touching and I highly reccomend it.
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Format: VHS Tape
Firstly a tip for those of you who long for a subtitled version of DAY FOR NIGHT. You can buy now at www.amazon.fr an incredible 2 DVD edition of François Truffaut's masterpiece. French and dubbed version and a boatload of extras including rare footage of Truffaut interviews. Needless to say that the images and the sound are perfect. But BEWARE, you have to own a DVD player able to read zone 2 DVD's.
In my opinion, if you must choose three titles in Truffaut's filmography, take THE 400 BLOWS, JULES AND JIM and DAY FOR NIGHT. With those titles, you'll have in your library the quintessence of his work.
A movie for your library.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
And of course, they speak French a lot, which is one of the main reasons I watched this film.
The acting was excellent, and the behind the scenes look at the process of shooting a movie (with Trufaut playing himself as the unflappable director) was interesting, charming, and at time hilarious.
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Format: DVD
"Day for Night" is the 4th or 5th movie by Francois Truffaut that I have seen. The other movies were good, some even very good, but I came away from them with the impression that they were over-rated. If anything, I thought "Day for Night" was under-rated. It has a subject matter that had me sceptical; a movie made about making movies. I have seen a number of movies on that subject ("8 1/2", "Contempt", etc) and I have certainly read more than enough books where the author makes himself (or herself) the main character in the story. At times these semi-autobiographical works are very well-done but too often, it seems that the writers/directors have a better impression of themselves than I did. Too often, the audience is left to observe (from afar) a world we don't belong in. I think that is the beauty of "Day for Night". Truffaut gives us the impression that we are participants rather than an audience. We may not have any specific responsibilities on the set but we are in the midst nonetheless.

My second impression of the film was the completeness of the experience. In a two hour movie, I learned more about film-making than I proably would have in a 5 hour documentary (and had more fun in the process as well). Truffaut has a gift of including so many aspects of the process and he does it all with the personal touch of a cast that seems anxious that we get the most out of the experience. There is plenty of humor, more than enough drama, and it all is woven together in a tempo that eliminates boredom or confusion. There is always something that catches our focus just long enough to make us understand the purpose and just short enough to avoid overstating the point.
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