More Hackney Library Joy: Le Quai des Brumes


[NB: Plot spoiler alert]

From Hackney Library’s DVD collection Marcel Carné‘s stunning Le Quai des Brumes on DVD for free. Gabin is Gabin (therefore he dies); Michèle Morgan is a revelation and it’s hard to believe that she didn’t become a huge star. Beautifully shot, it’s as dark and claustrophobic as they come.

This is part of what Ryan Gilbey said about it last year on its reissue in The Guardian:

…Not that Le Quai des Brumes is simply the Jean Gabin show. The pulp poetry of Eugen Schüfftan‘s cinematography, and Alexandre Trauner‘s claustrophobia-inducing sets, which reproduce Le Havre in Paris’s Joinville Studios, provide a template for film noir. The poet Jacques Prévert‘s screenplay, his third for Carné, was adapted from Pierre Mac Orlan’s Montmartre-set 1927 novel, and bristles with a truthfulness that is occasionally terrifying, such as when Jean describes how it feels to kill: “You shoot and then a man screams and grabs hold of his belly, making a face like a kid who’s eaten too much.” All delivered by a dazed Gabin, cigarette twitching in the corner of mouth…

Have a look. It’s a tenner to buy or free to borrow from Hackney Library. I’ll be returning it on Tuesday.



  1. harry

    Hackney Libraries are so good … most other boroughs charge for all of their DVDs, but Hackney only for a bit when they first get them. Also have some blu-rays now, too. Weird and entertaining selection of stuff at Stoke Newington last time I checked.

    • paulmurphyx

      Hi Harry, thanks for the comment. It’s true what you say. Hackney libraries also have a great selection of music as long as you’re not looking for the latest chart hits. I wrote a proposal for Resonance FM called ‘Hackney Library’s greatest hits’ where guests would pick CDs and then talk about them on air. Sadly it didn’t get commissioned… P

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