Gates of the Night

Gates of the Night (French: Les Portes de la nuit) is a 1946 French film that was directed by Marcel Carné. It starred Serge Reggiani and Yves Montand. The script was written by Carné's long-time collaborator Jacques Prévert. The film made its debut in the United States four years after its official release in France.[1][2] It introduced the much-recorded popular song "Autumn Leaves" (French: Les feuilles mortes).

Gates of the Night
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMarcel Carné
Screenplay byJacques Prévert
StarringYves Montand, Serge Reggiani
Music byJoseph Kosma
CinematographyPhilippe Agostini
Edited byJean Feyte
Release date
Running time
120 minutes


In the winter of 1945, immediately after the liberation, Jean Diego (Montand), a member of the French underground during World War II, meets Raymond, one of his comrades in arms who was believed to have succumbed in battle. On the night of that meeting, Jean encounters a homeless man named "Destiny" (Jean Vilar), whose predictions about him finding the woman of his life will not be too far from reality. Jean soon starts a liaison with Malou (Nathalie Nattier), a young woman who is married to a rich man. The next hours of his and Malou's lives are underscored by extreme, dramatic events; however, as the clochard (homeless person) predicted, they find their way out of the struggle and are able to move on, leaving behind wartime and its dangers.[1][2][3] Malou is shot and killed by her husband.


Les Portes de la nuit was released in the United States four years after it was first shown in France, where this psychological urban drama, especially due to its depiction of post-war Paris and close-to-dejected characters did not break the box office. It has been said that this is not Yves Montand's best performance, probably because this was only his second film. Overall, Les Portes de la nuit is considered hollow by many with regard to the plot; however, the settings are considered to be fascinating.[1][4]


  1. "Les Portes de la nuit". The New York Times.
  2. "Les Portes de la nuit". Le Figaro. Archived from the original on 2012-03-19.
  3. "Jacques Prèvert". Editions Enoch.
  4. "Les Portes de la nuit". Time Out Magazine. Archived from the original on 2012-10-18.
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