4 November 2019 | boblipton
Wrecked Lives In A Wrecked City
It's Le Havre right after the war, with the city still in ruins. The only life is in the port, where poor men compete for the few jobs offloading ships. Robert Dalban can't get work, because the shift manager doesn't like his face. He takes it out on his wife, Ginette Leclerc, and their inert son. She decides she and Jean-Pierre Kérien are in love. When Dalban is found dead, thrown from a height onto the docks, suspicion falls on Kérien.
It's a mess of a story about the messes in the city, and it doesn't look like anything will ever be solved, even though the audience sees everything and knows all the answers. Everyone is half mad. The movie is pitched halfway between film noir in its night time scenes, and Neo-realism, with its sordid and unhappy focus on the desperately poor. It looks like they wanted Gabin for the lead, but he wasn't interested. The result is a messy and unsatisfactory movie.