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Port of Shadows (1938)


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Did anyone else see this wonderful film? And did anyone else have the problem that after the fight between Jean Gabin and Pierre Brasseur at the dodgems, the screen froze? I'm guessing this was courtesy of my local cable company.



Lovers of film noir should try to see PORT OF SHADOWS, which looks like a source for many later films. Mist, fog, shadows. Gangsters. Fatalism. A lovely young girl in a translucent raincoat. Doomed romance. An acceptance of the small moments that can be seized from the darkness. Colorful mnor characters. The prospect of escape to Venezuela that you know will never happen. Beautiful images by the director, Marcel Carne, and the cinematographer, Eugen Schufftan. A fabulous script by Jacques Prevert. Great acting by Jean Gabin, Michel Simon, Michele Morgan, Pierre Brasseur, and a strong supporting cast.



The painter takes us to the heart of noir. He tried painting women, children, flowers, but he also found himself showing something hidden behind them. If he tried to paint a swimmer, he painted a man drowning. That is noir.



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It's no accident and no exaggeration that the main English language Gabin bio is titled *"World's Coolest Movie Star".* If there's ever been an actor who deserves a TCM SOTM, it's the man known as "the French Bogart" - a moniker which is quite a compliment to Bogart.

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