Le Jour Se Lève  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Le Jour se lève (or Daybreak) is a 1939 French film directed by Marcel Carné and written by Jacques Prévert, based on a story by Jacques Viot. It is considered one of the principal examples of the French film movement known as poetic realism.

The film was remade as The Long Night (1947), with Henry Fonda in the Gabin role. In 1952, it was included in the first Sight and Sound top ten greatest films list.


The film begins in the middle of the action. Factory worker François (Jean Gabin) kills Valentin (Jules Berry) and locks himself in his apartment, where he is besieged by the police.

In a flashback punctuated by glimpses of the present, it is revealed that François was involved with the young florist Françoise, and with Clara, who was formerly the assistant in Valentin's show. Valentin became jealous, although an older man, and eventually confronted François in his apartment, bringing the gun with which François then shot him.

As the sun rises, two men throw tear gas into François' apartment to drive him out. However, François is consumed with despair and shoots himself in the heart.


Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Le Jour Se Lève" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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