Port of Shadows

Quai des brumes

Marcel CarnéFrance91 minutes1938PGB&WFrench

Aug 31
  • Press & Industry screenings and events are only for accredited passes.


A recently restored, ever-influential classic of French cinema (Aki Kaurismäki's Le Havre pays extended homage to it, right down to its lovable mutt), Port of Shadows brought together director Marcel Carné and writer Jacques Prévert with designer Alexander Trauner, all of whom were to work together again on Le Jour se lève and Les Enfants du paradis. Jean Gabin plays an army deserter who flees to the port city of Le Havre; he falls in love with Nelly (Michèle Morgan), but the two cannot escape from their sordid surroundings because her sinister guardian (Michel Simon) has other plans. (Does the film at this point partake of anti-Semitism?) Hard to say what is more indelible: the worn-out, on-the-run Gabin, briefly renewed by passion; svelte, almond-eyed Morgan in her trench coat and beret; or Trauner's fog-enshrouded seaside sets, evocative of the pre-war mood of entrapment and hopelessness.