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La fin du jour (1939)

Aged penniless actors are living in a old people's home. They always talk about their past glory or failures. One day Raphael Saint-Clair comes; he has been a famous actor and had a lot of ... See full summary »


Julien Duvivier
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Victor Francen ... Marny
Michel Simon ... Cabrissade
Louis Jouvet ... Raphaël Saint Clair
Madeleine Ozeray ... Jeannette
Alexandre Arquillière Alexandre Arquillière ... Monsieur Lucien (as Arquillières)
Arthur Devère Arthur Devère ... Le régisseur (as Devère)
Sylvie ... Madame Tusini
Joffre ... Philémon
Charles Granval ... Deaubonne (as Granval)
Pierre Magnier ... Laroche
Mme Lherbay Mme Lherbay ... Madame Philémon
Jean Coquelin Jean Coquelin ... Delormel
Auguste Bovério Auguste Bovério ... Le curé (as Bovério)
Jean Aymé ... Victor
Tony Jacquot Tony Jacquot ... Pierrot


Aged penniless actors are living in a old people's home. They always talk about their past glory or failures. One day Raphael Saint-Clair comes; he has been a famous actor and had a lot of love affairs. Passions come back, and jealousies... A bitter film about aging, failure and the entertainment. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

11 September 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The End of the Day See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Regina Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented USA telecast took place in Cincinnati Saturday 15 October 1949 on WKRC (Channel 11). See more »


After Saint Clair leaves Jeannette in tears, Marny stands right next to her and touches her elbow. After the cut, he moves another step towards her for which there was no room. See more »


Madame Marcellin: He used to tell me "You are my first love..."
Madame Chabert: Ah... to me too
Madame Marcellin: To whom was he lying?
Madame Chabert: To both of us probably
Madame Marcellin: But so charmingly!
See more »

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User Reviews

twilight of the gods
25 November 2001 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Probably Duvivier's pre-war peak.His pessimism reaches here such unbelievable heights that we're brooding all along the movie and long after having seen it.The subject is a depressing one:some kind of "sunset boulevard" of the theater.Located in an old people's home for actors and actresses ,most of them short of the readies.Humiliating to a fault,for those who have been legendary figures of the theater,once gods for an ungrateful public.Who remembers them now?Who remembers Norma Desmond/Gloria Swanson?

Duvivier's depiction of the house is cruel and ruthless:two old residents fighting because one of them had a bigger piece of sausage,shots in close-up of the tired,wrinkled,wizened faces,spiteful gossips,wickedness...

A menace hangs over the house as a sword of Damocles:their house might close soon,because they're running out of money,and they might be dispersed.Because,if the relationships ooze hatred,contempt,jealousy and rancor ,the greatest disgrace would be to end up in a ordinary old people's home with the riffraff.

Hope against hope survives among in this God-forsaken world:An old Don Juan (Jouvet) thinks that he's always a ladykiller .An actor (Michel Simon) who was all his life an understudy tries to shine on the stage for an ultimate night,but fails dismally.Another one,( Victor FRancen,the hero of "j'accuse")whose wife has always been unfaithful (she used to sleep with Jouvet),tries to end his life with dignity.

"La fin du jour" (the end of the day") is A hard time for everybody, but particularly for those who 've been adored by the masses,downfall is unbearable.Forgetting for once his legendary pessimism,Duvivier closes this somber meditation by a funeral:during this twilight glow scene,all the actors and actresses all stand together to say goodbye to one of them.Francen delivers a speech full of nostalgia and warmth.The show must go on,long live the show.

And long live Duvivier!!!!!

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