Port Of Shadows (1938)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

Original title:  Le Quai Des Brumes

France, 1938.  Ciné-Alliance.  Scenario and dialogue by , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Moody, atmospheric drama about an army deserter (the eternally laid back ) who tries to escape capture by heading for a harbour town and booking passage on an ocean liner that is soon leaving for South America. This would be a smooth escape for him if the port that he landed in wasn’t fraught with dangerous criminals and corruption. He gets involved with some local bad guys when he falls head over heels for a beautiful young woman () and decides to help her out of the jam that she’s in. The story doesn’t wrap up its audience completely, but the photography, rife with fog and shadowy lighting, is breathtakingly beautiful. Everything is lost in a glistening mist, except of course Morgan’s startling eyes, which are so richly blue that even black and white film can’t mask their ebullient colour.

The Criterion Collection:  #245

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