Le Jour Se Leve
1939 / 93m - France
Crime, Romance
Daybreak poster


December 17, 2021


Film-noir is often seen as a very US-centric genre, but the French also created a fair share of films that fit the description. Daybreak is a very early example and only roughly meets the criteria, coming from a director who was obviously still trying to find out the best ways to incorporate sound.

After committing murder, François retreats to his apartment and locks himself in. The police are hot on his tail, but after a failed attempt to enter his room they decide to retreat and regroup. During that night François thinks back on the love affair that would ultimately result in the murder.

The biggest difference with US films of that era is that the film isn't overflowing with dialogue. Gabin doesn't appear at ease though, as he seems to be shouting most of his lines. It's a very awkward delivery that makes it virtually impossible to take the drama serious. The rest of the film isn't much to look at either, which results in a pretty poor classic.