Wexner Center for the Arts

Max et les Ferrailleurs + Port of Shadows


These French classics are less familiar (even to film fans) than many in this series but every bit as remarkable and vital.

“Dark, mysterious, and shrouded in sensuous fog.”—Guardian (UK) on Port of Shadows

An elegant and sophisticated French crime thriller, Max et les Ferrailleurs centers around a Parisian detective (played by the great Michel Piccoli) who is tired of seeing clever criminals slip through his fingers. As he lures a gang into robbing a bank so that he can catch them red-handed, he unexpectedly falls in love with the gang leader’s girlfriend (Romy Schneider). This 35mm restoration offers the thriller-with-the-heart-of-a-melodrama a belated debut in US theaters. (107 mins., 35mm, in French with English subtitles)

From the golden age of French cinema, Port of Shadows is an early collaboration between director Marcel Carné and writer Jacques Prévert, the team who made the incomparable Children of Paradise (which screened at the Wex in June). Set in port city of Le Havre (seemingly always shrouded in fog), the film stars French icon Jean Gabin (his third appearance in A Summer Abroad ’13) as an army deserter looking for another chance to make good on life. Fate interferes and acts of both revenge and kindness make him front page news as he travels through an underworld of lonely souls wrestling with their own destinies. Also starring Michèle Morgan and Michel Simon. (90 mins., DCP, in French with English subtitles)