Marcel Carné

Scen.: Marcel Carné, Louis Chavance, Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes. F.: Henri Alekan. M.: Léonide Azar. Scgf.: Alexandre Trauner. Mus.: Joseph Kosma. Int.: Jean Gabin (Henri Chatelard), Nicole Courcel (Marie Le Flem), Blanchette Brunoy (Odile Le Flem), Claude Romain (Marcel Viau), Julien Carette (Thomas Viau), René Blancard (Dorchain), Jane Marken (signora Josselin), Louis Seigner (zio Jules). Prod.: Sacha Gordine per Les Films Sacha Gordine. 35mm. D.: 97’. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

A provincial notable named Henri Chatelard accompanies his lover, Odile, to her father’s funeral in a fishing-port on the coast of Normandy. The two have fallen out of love. Chatelard drops by a café on the harbour rather than having to confront his in-laws. Hearing that a fishing vessel is up for sale, he buys it. On the way down to the harbour, he meets a girl with a proud look in her eye: Marie, Odile’s sister whom he has never seen.
Gabin here lends his character a popular touch, playing opposite an ensemble cast of Nicole Courcel (just 19 when the film was released), sweet Blanchette Brunoy, Jane Marken, Louis Seigner and even Julien Carette, the poacher in Jean Renoir’s Rules of the Game.
It is worth noting that, as well as owning a beer-hall, Chatelard also owns a cinema showing Georges Lampin’s The Idiot and F.W. Murnau’s Tabu (a film that Carné had adored as a young man).
Due to an injury, Jacques Prévert, Carné’s usual co-writer, was unable to adapt this Simenon novel, even though the screenplay and dialogue, officially attributed in the credits to former surrealist Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes, betray signs of Prévert’s input. Two other members of the Carné-Prévert team, composer Joseph Kosma and production designer Alexandre Trauner, (Prévert’s great friend whom he hid from the Nazis during the war) both appear in the credits. The film was shot by Henri Alekan, prior to his embarking on an eclectic career working alongside Terence Young, Jean-Marie Straub, Robert Kramer, Amos Gitaï, Raoul Ruiz and Wim Wenders. La Marie du port was, beside Au-delà des grilles, one of Gabin’s few successes in the immediate post-war years, seen by some 2.6 million people in France, a quarter of whom were in Paris.

Edouard Waintrop

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by courtesy of René Chateau