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Beauties of the Night (1952)

Les belles de nuit (original title)
Approved | | Comedy, Fantasy, Music | April 1954 (USA)
A young composer has vivid dreams of the past that reflect, yet conflict with his waking life.

Director:

René Clair

Writers:

René Clair (scenario), René Clair (adaptation) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gérard Philipe ... Claude - un jeune compositeur rêveur
Martine Carol ... Edmée 1900 / Edmée de Villebois
Gina Lollobrigida ... La caissière du Grand Café / Leïla 1830
Magali Vendeuil Magali Vendeuil ... Suzanne - la fille du garagiste / Suzanne 1789
Marilyn Buferd ... La postière / Madame Bonacieux (as Marylin Bufferd)
Raymond Bussières ... Roger - le garagiste / le tambour
Raymond Cordy ... Gaston / Le marquis
Bernard Lajarrige Bernard Lajarrige ... Léon - le gendarme
Albert Michel Albert Michel ... Le facteur / Un révolutionnaire
Palau ... Le vieux monsieur qui critique toutes les époques
Jean Parédès Jean Parédès ... Paul - le pharmacien
Paolo Stoppa Paolo Stoppa ... Le directeur de l'Opéra
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Le Choeur Marguerite Mercier Le Choeur Marguerite Mercier ... Les choristes
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Storyline

Young Claude, teacher by day, is a struggling composer by night. Alas, everyone around him seems to prefer noise to music. But in his dreams, he lives in other eras where he is appreciated, lionized, and the conquerer of delicious women (idealized forms of women he's seen in waking life). The dreams are suitably dreamlike, yet have a kind of reality, for he revisits them after waking. The conflict between waking and dream worlds leads to amusing, strange, even fantastic situations. Which world will prevail? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Bon Bon From the Master of Comedy


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

April 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Beauties of the Night See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Finnish censorship visa # 38333 delivered on 19-5-1953. See more »

Alternate Versions

The dubbed Italian version incorporates shots of road signs written in Italian. See more »

Connections

Featured in One Hundred and One Nights (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Je vous reverrai chaque nuit
Written by Georges Van Parys
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A sweet piece of nostalgia
15 July 2005 | by AndreaValerySee all my reviews

This film is highly recommended for those people who have an appreciation of an elusive quality called charm. Charm is in short supply in today's cinema be it French, American or other. Charm is difficult to define, but you know it when you see it. The daydreams of a young composer may seem like a frivolous topic, but an actor of the caliber of Gérard Philipe make it all seem so worthwhile. The essence of the story, for me anyway, is the collision between dream and reality - our hero is constantly reminded of how ordinary life is, how unsatisfying compared to his luscious fantasies. He is constantly brought crashing down to earth. But these scenes are precisely the funniest ones. I recall especially the scene in the classroom where the kids mock him to death - how humiliating, but still it's hilarious.

Gérard Philipe said that the director René Clair left nothing to chance. Every tiny detail, every nuance was carefully thought out in advance. The greatest problem for René Clair was that of rhythm. Apparently they were always trying to shorten certain scenes by a few seconds in order to heighten the comic effect.

One of the greatest of all directors and an actor of unquestioned skill, conscientiousness and charm collaborate on an effort that reminds us of what French culture used to be. It may seem dated or even corny to some, but I hope that for others it serves as an image of cultural values that will not be seen again.


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