Essential Art House: Le Jour se Lève
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Top Customer Reviews
Made in 1939, the film is also a warning to France which was on the eve of war with Fascist Germany and itself holed itself up - in isolation - until the inevitable disaster. (The Vichy government which collaborated with the Nazis forbade the showing of the film0.
As in so many of the great Marcel Carne films, the director is obsessed with doomed love. In those dark, edgy days leading up to the war, it must have seemed to Marcel Carne that happiness, while precious, is short lived - always on the verge of being snuffed out callously.
I cannot fault the pitch perfect, sad performance of Jean Gabin. Watch his eyes as he awaits his inevitable doom. Gabin - as Francois - portrays a sympathetic, bruised man. He loves an orphan perhaps because he himself was an orphan.
Of all Marcel Carne films, "Le Jour se Leve" is his most compelling metaphor for the impending disaster awaiting France. Poetic realism indeed.
It stars the incomparable Jean Gabin (Grand Illusion - Criterion Collection) 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(Children of Paradise - Criterion Collection), 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.Read more ›
"Le Jour se Leve" is the story of a murder that strips away any semblance of suspense by giving the audience the victim and the murderer in the opening scene. It doesn't take much longer to clarify the motive as well. The movie's greatness is telling a love story within the context of our knowing its' extreme outcome from the start. This approach gives the audience a unique focus on each and every step of the developing romances as the films goes through a number of flashbacks. The main character is an easy-going laborer who stumbles into a relationship with a young woman. There is another man and that leads to another woman all of which we pickup on in successive flashbacks. There are a couple of minor twists that we don't see coming but the movie is very up-front with the plot.
"Le Jour se Leve" emerges into an intense romantic drama that develops the main characters in a method of excellance that was the likely reason for its' "Sight and Sound" Top Ten rating.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I just watched this French film classic online. I recommend watching this version for all the reason stated above. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Art Student Peter
It was a very nice film. Love anything old Jean Gabin did though.
It is breathtakingly beautiful. I am glad that you just added this to Amazon.Published 9 months ago by Richard Adelman
A tragic story of impossible happiness. François and Françoise meet on their saint's day and discover they are both orphans. For François, it is love at first sight. Read morePublished on February 6, 2014 by K. Halling
A complex tragedy that gives the impression of relentless, inevitable fate. This impression is enhanced by the first moments of the film in which a man is killed and we see the... Read morePublished on May 21, 2013 by Ron Braithwaite
After reading about Arletty in a book documenting the liberation of Paris, I was determined to obtain some examples of her work. Read morePublished on May 13, 2013 by William C. Young III
Sharp and intense, `Le Jour se Leve' is a magnificent film from one of the very best years in cinema; 1939. Read morePublished on October 3, 2011 by Andrew Ellington
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Le Jour Se Leve was considered good enough by Hollywood to be remade into a Henry Fonda vehicle in the 1940s. Read more
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