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Night at the Crossroads (1932)

La nuit du carrefour (original title)
A gang of thieves utilizes a cross-road garage as the hideaway. During their last caper, the gang has accidentally murdered a jewel thief, and the heat is on.

Director:

Jean Renoir

Writers:

Georges Simenon (novel), Jean Renoir (adaptation)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Pierre Renoir ... Le commissaire Maigret
Georges Térof Georges Térof ... Lucas (as G. Terof)
Winna Winifried Winna Winifried ... Else Andersen (as Winna Winfried)
Georges Koudria Georges Koudria ... Carl Andersen (as George Koudria)
Dignimont Dignimont ... Oscar
G.A. Martin G.A. Martin ... Granjean (as Martin)
Michel Duran Michel Duran ... Jojo
Jean Gehret Jean Gehret ... Emile Michonnet (as Gehret)
Boulicot Boulicot ... Un gendarme
Max Dalban Max Dalban ... Le docteur (as Dalban)
Roger Gaillard Roger Gaillard ... Le boucher (as Gaillard)
Jean Mitry Jean Mitry ... Arsène
Jane Pierson Jane Pierson ... Mme Michonnet
Manuel Raaby ... Guido (as Rabby)
Lucie Vallat Lucie Vallat ... Michelle, la femme d'Oscar
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Storyline

A gang of thieves utilizes a cross-road garage as the hideaway. During their last caper, the gang has accidentally murdered a jewel thief, and the heat is on.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | Danish

Release Date:

5 June 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ночь на перекрёстке See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Europa Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The gloomy rural crossroads featured in the story was a real place and Jean Renoir knew it well, once calling it "perhaps the most depressing place on Earth". He rented an unoccupied house nearby and lived there with the skeleton crew he brought with him from Paris to make the film.Some crew members, he recalled, actually slept on the floor or in chairs,and he would often shoot the film in the middle of the night, sometimes more or less on the spur of the moment. Many small acting roles and minor functions behind the camera were taken by non-professional local people. See more »

Connections

Version of Maigret: Night at the Crossroads (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Occam's Razor Shows This Is a Bad Mystery
30 November 2018 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

At a small, outlying suburb of Paris that seems to be three houses, a butcher shop and a garage or two, a corpse is found in a car. It's a Jewish diamond merchant from the Low Countries. The police are soon sweating the owner of the garage, George Koudria. He is an exiled Swedish aristocrat who lives in one of the houses with his sister, Winna Winnifred. Enter Inspector Maigret in the person of Pierre Renoir, the brother of the movie's director, Jean Renoir. Koudria does not crack, and he is sent back to his home. He flees across the border, while Maigret wanders around, asking question that have nothing to do with the events, watching and listening.

Renoir (the director) made this film between LA CHIENNE and BOUDU SAVED FROM DROWNING. Those films would seem more typical of his movies, with this one an odd outlier, a potboiler to offer some income and prove he is a bankable film maker. I found it fairly typical of his works in which relationships are unclear and it is up to Renoir (the actor) to winkle them out for the audience. You may look on it as a try-out for THE RULES OF THE GAME with murder, and Simenon's name to add to the commercial value of the effort. It's a fine, atmospheric movie, if you ignore the simple matter of the mystery.

The problem I have with the mystery is that there is a perfectly good and simple explanation of who did it up to the point where Maigret begins to demonstrate his theory. Simenon and the Renoir brothers play fairly with the audience in this murder mystery, but the actual solution is far more complicated than the one offered early on. That the solution turns out to be the truth is a trick of the writer. Another solution could just as easily been written and Maigret could have produced the evidence equally easily, should Simenon and the director have wished it. In effect, they produce the clues after the audience has been given the complete story.


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