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The Gates of Paris (1957)

Porte des Lilas (original title)
An old bum becomes infatuated with a pretty young girl who gets entangled with a young gangster.

Director:

René Clair

Writers:

René Clair (screenplay and dialogue), René Fallet (novel) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Pierre Brasseur ... Juju
Georges Brassens ... L'Artiste
Henri Vidal ... Pierre Barbier
Dany Carrel ... Maria
Raymond Bussières ... Alphonse
Gabrielle Fontan Gabrielle Fontan ... Madame Sabatier
Amédée Amédée ... Paulo - un habitué du café
Annette Poivre ... Nénette
Alain Bouvette Alain Bouvette ... Le copain de Paulo
Alice Tissot Alice Tissot ... La concierge
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Storyline

Juju, a drunken oaf who feels the need of being important to someone---anyone---and his friend, an artist, are forced at gunpoint to care for a fugitive, Peirre Barbier, in Juju's broken-down home. The urge for being needed is such in Juju that he gives up drinking and takes care of Pierre, even after he learns that Pierre has been making love to Maria, the girl Juju loves. Plans are made for Pierre's escape, and Maria is to join him over her father's protests. Marua steals money from her father and begs Juju to take it to Pierre. When Juju finds that Pierre plans to double-cross Maria, he kills him. Juju takes the money to his artist-friend, he tells him to return it to Maria, as coming from Pierre, so she won't think she has been betrayed. Juju returns to drinking and being a drunk. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Comedy - Suspense - Love - and a Paris few people ever see!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

14 January 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Gates of Paris See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Italian censorship visa #25175 delivered on 14 September 1957. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A nice blend of comedy, romance, and drama
24 November 2018 | by gbill-74877See all my reviews

An escaped murderer (Henri Vidal) finds refuge in the cellar of a poor artist's house, where the artist and his derelict friend (George Brassens and Pierre Brasseur) help him out. The film is notable because of its cast - legendary singer Brassens in his only movie appearance, Vidal in a comeback film after one of his many rounds of rehab, and Brasseur in a lovable role that's both comedic and heartfelt. Dany Carrel is also strong as the smart young barmaid who uncovers the secret but then finds herself falling in love, and my goodness, she's stunning besides.

At its heart, and in a lighthearted way, the film examines the limits of selfish and selfless behavior. It's a little stagey in its story-telling and probably too light to be considered film noir, but the biggest issue is in character motivation - it just doesn't seem likely that the irascible character Vidal plays would get such help, and for so long. On the other hand, it's quite watchable, and it engages us early on, with Brassens singing a couple of songs while strumming his guitar, and Brasseur cleverly sneaking drinks from the local bar. He also steals ten cans of foie gras for his friend, and something about how he hurries around with them, then has to hide them from the police by tossing them out the window tickled me. He's a character whose laziness and mooching make him hard to like early on, but whose kindness and unrequited love make us feel for him as the film plays out.

Director René Clair tells the story well and gives us some nice shots, such as a scene of kids running around in the streets chasing and pretending to shoot at each other while Vidal's backstory is related. He also blends comedy, romance, and drama in a warm, entertaining tale.


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