Add a Review

  • Well, it was the 5th of the nine movies Danielle Darrieux made under the direction of her then husband, Henri Decoin. And for me, it is certainly one of the best.

    Shot on locations in Hungary, this is a sort of 'Bildungsroman', of the cruel sort, based on Vicki Baum's novel. Anita, a young new-wed wife, is going to the big city, for family matters. She is supposed to return before night, by the 6.00 pm train, but she misses it... And she'll learn the hard way that she is too small for big cities.

    The copy I saw was in very poor condition. Some of the efforts in the editing look clumsy, but all is redeemed by the value of the story and its growing tension, and the quality of the cast, with special mentions for Pierre Dux, Jacques Dumesnil, Pierre Mingand and Marcel Delaître.

    And, above all, Danielle Darrieux. Didn't the character wonderfully played by Charlotte Kady, in Bertrand Tavernier's "Laissez-passer", said it one for all: "Darrieux ? Elle a tout !".

    A last word to salute the very good Paul Misraki's score.

    And now, I'm going to try to put the cast in its right order, on the IMDb file...
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Alas, there are only two reviews here for this minor charmer and both may have failed to take into account the climate in which it was made and released. I wasn't around myself at the time but I have read extensively and spoken to people, including my parents, who did remember the build-up to the second world war - it actually began one year after Retour a l'aube was released - and it's reasonable to assume that the ordinary people turned to cinema as a way to forget the gloom of real life for a couple of hours and what better way than to watch a beautiful twenty-one year old actress trapped in a hum-drum life and getting to wear glamorous clothes, stay in a five-star hotel and gambol in a casino if only for a day. This was exactly the kind of role that had catapulted Danielle Darrieux to Number One at the French box- office and here, as in most of her films, she got to display her charming singing voice so what's not to like. This was the fourth time in two years she was directed by her husband Henri Decoin and there would be two more before they divorced in 1940 and three a decade later. Okay, it's a soufflé' but it's also a time-capsule and as such hors de prix.
  • "Retour A l'Aube" belongs to Decoin's light-hearted rosy comedies but its last part foreshadows his brilliant series of films noirs in the forties,which he would continue in the following decade,with relatively less artistic success.

    Sorry,Didier (the precedent user) but I do not think that it's one of the best works by Decoin.It takes place in a chocolate box Hungary ,where you pay ,as everyone past infancy must know,in Francs (!).The first scene (the wedding) is given a folk treatment complete with costumes and music ,but it does not fool people .

    Darrieux portrays some kind of Hungarian (!) Madame Bovary ,whose marriage to a station master has left her a frustrated woman :she dreams of romanticism and the train she takes to get to the big city will allow her to become Cinderella for one night.

    As I wrote above ,the most interesting thing about this okay movie is the elements of thriller which bursts into what was a charming dreamlike tale ;this is the key to Decoin's future as he will make his way through the forties ,with "L'Homme De Londres" "Les Inconnus Dans La Maison" and culminate with these overlooked desperate movies such as "La Fille Du Diable" (IMHO ,his masterpiece)or ""Les Amants Du Pont Saint-Jean"