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Hôtel du Nord by Marcel Carné

By Marcel Carné
1938 – France – 95 min
With Annabella, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Louis Jouvet, Arletty

In French with English subtitles

On the banks of the Canal St. Martin in Paris, the Hôtel du Nord welcomes families, couples, travelers, prostitutes and many others. The multiple comings and goings make the Hotel a special place where the lives of its occupants intertwine and influence the course of each one’s destiny. This film focuses on the story of Renée and Pierre, a depressed young couple who are lost in the dullness of their life.

This adaptation of Eugene Dabit’s novel L’Hôtel du Nord is considered a great depiction of the French interwar years, featuring well-known actors and actresses of the time, such as Arletty, playing a strong and confident prostitute, and Louis Jouvet who was featured in numerous other Marcel Carné movies. While the film is considered a drama, it still contains hints of humor due to its exceptional dialogue. Some of the lines from Hôtel du Nord have become shining references in the French cinematic world. Still young when the film was shot, Marcel Carné was already acclaimed by most critics for his two masterpieces of 1938: Hôtel du Nord and Port of Shadows.