Jour Se Lève, Le

Director: Marcel Carné
Year Released: 1939
Rating: 3.0

A factory worker and orphan (Jean Gabin), madly in love with a fellow orphan (Jacqueline Laurent), discovers that she's been used and abused by the crude, malevolent Valentin (Jules Berry) and kills him. In other words: it's a movie about the loss of innocence in a corrupt world. The use of flashbacks is innovative but kind of weakens this from a dramatic standpoint - knowing early on what fate befalls these figures only puts a damper on the already dreary storyline, making it a downcast affair, which may or may not fit your mood (I happen to appreciate - if not necessarily 'enjoy' - the fatalism of this and Carné's Port of Shadows). Gabin's character may be outwardly tough but he's inwardly weak, which the iconic actor pulls off wonderfully.