Le Jour se lève (Daybreak)
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Marcel Carne and Jacques Prevert's classic of French poetic realism stars Jean Gabin in one of his most famous roles as Francois, a rough, barrel-chested loner who hides out in his apartment awaiting for the police to arrive. Francois has killed a man in a crime of passion, the slimy lothario Valentin (Jules Berry). As he listens in the darkness of his Normandy apartment to the police sirens closing in and getting louder, he recalls the two women that he loved -- Francoise (Jacqueline Laurent) and Clara (Arletty) -- and the evil Valentin, who stole both their hearts and forced Francois… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

""Le Jour Se Leve" is an exploration of the question of who we love and why and how we love them that is surprisingly fresh and involving."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"This prototype of film noir, from 1939, is both a grim feast of prewar French acting and a catalogue of French moods on the eve of disaster."
‑ Richard Brody, New Yorker
"Like Marcel Carné's earlier Port of Shadows, Daybreak establishes a versatile visual palette that exerted a significant influence over classical noir."
‑ Budd Wilkins, Slant Magazine
"The last movie to emerge from the subgenre of poetic realism shares the same dream-like qualities of L'Atalante, La Grande Illusion and La Règle du Jeu."
‑ Tara Brady, Irish Times
"Marcel Carné's black-and-white film of 1939 made radical use of flashbacks for the first time and its noir-ish cinematography gives the crime passionnel a dark tension."
‑ Kate Muir, Times [UK]
"Marcel Carné's classic work of poetic realism ..."
‑ Anna King, Time Out New York
"The story is excellently conceived and planned."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Serious film fans will appreciate the 4K restoration of this 1939 French melodrama, which has been all but unseen for 75 years."
‑ MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
"Told mostly in flashback, this story perfectly illustrates Carné's mastery of poetic realism and Jacques Prévert's appreciation of the lyricism of everyday speech."
‑ David Parkinson, Radio Times
"Bristling with energy and shaped with incomparable artistry and flair."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"Gorgeously melancholy, and not just because of its tragic love-triangle plot ..."
‑ Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice
"Possibly the best of the Carné-Prévert films, certainly their collaboration at its most classically pure."
‑ Tom Milne, Time Out
"Exciting, beautiful and tragic, this remains essential cinema, French or otherwise."
‑ Ian Freer, Empire Magazine
"The meandering verbal games in Le Jour Se Lève come across too much as ornate screenwriting, as if a piece of high-classical theatre has been shoe-horned into the grot-flecked alleys and boarding houses of provincial France."
‑ David Jenkins, Little White Lies
"Marcel Carné's masterpiece of French poetic realism ..."
‑ Neil Smith, Total Film
More reviews for Le Jour se lève (Daybreak) on Rotten Tomatoes