The Great Duvivier Giveaway

Yes. In a daring rear-guard action to promote the reputation of defunct French film director Julien Duvivier, Shadowplay is GIVING AWAY DVD-Rs copied from a decomposing late ’80s VHS off-air recording “borrowed” from the Lindsay Anderson Archive in Glasgow. I will personally send a copy to everyone who asks for one. The quality will of the disc be shit. The quality of the film is unspeakably superb.

While I would hope all regular Shadowplayers will jump at this chance, I also want to hear from lurkers and loiterers who don’t usually expose themselves in the Comments section. “Come out in the light and let’s have a look at you!” This is partly just an excuse to involve more of you. This is an open-ended, long-standing offer, until somebody brings out an official release of this movie with subtitles, or hell freezes over, whichever comes first.

By accepting this once-in-a-lifetime lunatic offer you undertake to watch the film, copy the film, recommend the film, distribute the film, and if it becomes possible, by the rights and publish the film on your own DVD label, which you have to call DaViD DVD. Apart from that, there are no obligations. No salesman will call.

What are you getting? LA FIN DU JOUR is a tender, funny, tense and beautiful drama set in a troublous home for retired actors. It stars Victor Francen, Louis Jouvet and Michel Simon. Ironically, while playing characters in their late sixties, the three stars were only in their ’40s or ’50s. Porridge-faced insult to physiognomy Michel Simon was only a few years older than myself — which makes me feel really good.

Although Duvivier practically cultivated the image of anonymous artisan, in fact this is one of his most personal films. An actor in his youth, Duvivier switched to directing after a traumatic incident in which he “dried” and “died” on stage, a scene recreated in this movie. Despite being about oldsters, LA FIN DU JOUR is bristling with action, suspense, suicide attempts, madness, adultery, concussion and grumbling. And it has definite remake possibilities if Hollywood is listening.

The year was 1939 and the French film industry was about to be upset, violently. Duvivier would spend the war years in America, where he made THE GREAT WALTZ, FLESH AND FANTASY and TALES OF MANHATTAN, which are far easier to see than most of his French films. I’d say that if you like the American movies, you’re certainly in for a treat if and when you see the French ones.

A TASTER! But a perverse one: this is the end of the movie, so you might not want to look. (SPOILER ALERT) One of the characters has died. In his will, he explains that he’s written his own funeral oratory, because he wants to know what people say about him after he’s gone. He was an untalented, unsuccessful actor, so this is really his last chance to rewrite his career as a triumph. It falls to his worst enemy to read the vainglorious self-penned elegy…

Isn’t that great? Now let’s be having you.

214 Responses to “The Great Duvivier Giveaway”

  1. Hello there, sir, and thank you for the kind offer. Loving your blog and almost positive I’ll love sitting through LA FIN DU JOUR. Let me know how I can get you my address, and thanks again. Looking forward to it…

  2. Oh, you won’t be sitting through it, you’ll be on your feet, yelling advice to the players, like at a particularly exciting footie match. If all commenters put their email address in the space marked when commenting, I’ll get in touch and arrange delivery.

  3. You’ve convinced me. But will it be better than the Hammer Frankensteins?

  4. Put me down for a copy. I’ve never seen it in any form — composed or decomposed. And I adore Louis Jouvet.

  5. Hi, David. Thank you for your kind offer–I’d love to take you up on it. If you haven’t seen or would like Gremillon’s REMORQUES, I have a VHS copy and can gladly drop it in the mail.

  6. Great!

    1) It’s better than the Hammer Frankensteins. But different. The comparison isn’t totally crazy though, since Duvivier made a version of The Golem heavily influenced by Whale’s 1931 Frankenstein.

    2) Jouvet is terrific in it — a whole post needs to be written about his work here.

    3) Would be overjoyed to see Remorques!

    I’ll be emailing those of you whose addresses I don’t have, shortly. Keep the requests rolling in!

  7. DVD approximations of crusty VHS recordings of off-air recordings, you say? Of the work of under-represented french directors, you continue? [If not necessarily in that order] This seems like the sort of a lifetime of the year promotion that would, and has piqued my fancy.

    Those provisos are ones to which I would gladly subscribe.

  8. Jean Renoir once wrote “If I had to build a monument to the cinema I would place a statue of Duvivier over the entrance” and since reading that as a young film student, I’ve always wondered how serious he was-partly because Duvie’s films are just so hard to get hold of. I haven’t even heard of this one ’till you metioned it. Put me down please

    (I really wish I could still be counted as a lurker-this would have made a far better entrance)

  9. may i please have a copy? you don’t need to post it though – just leave it somewhere i am likely to go

  10. Great!
    Alex, I’ll leave you a disc in the college office.

    JS, I hadn’t heard that Renoir quote before, that’s great!

    Leo, great to hear from you.

    3 more copies, good good…

  11. Gosh I’d love a copy too. I need more ‘traditions of quality’ in my house! And just to say I’ve got a film that was personally recorded from television by Mr Anderson would be quite the talking point!

  12. “LA FIN DU JOUR is bristling with action, suspense, suicide attempts, madness, adultery, concussion and grumbling. And it has definite remake possibilities if Hollywood is listening.”

    Forget Hollywood – why hasn’t Eastenders stolen the plot wholesale for one of their episodes?

  13. may i have one too?

  14. Yep, you both get one. I’ll include it in your next care packages.

  15. Are there any defenders of Richard Quine’s remake of La Fete a Henriette in the house?

  16. As I’ve said, I’m still a Quine novice. I keep seeing Paris When It Sizzles for sale very cheap though, so I should pick it up.
    An IMDb reviewer says that Orson Welles wanted to make it…

  17. Rare shit? That’s what’s tattooed on my penis, and it’s currently pointing towards Edinburgh! The signal to send!

  18. Count me in, sir. I’ve been lurking for a while… it’s very frustrating when I don’t know what you’re on about. But I want to catch up with the rest of class, I do, oh so very much!

  19. Can I have one too, please? Having thoroughly enjoyed the ending, I can’t wait to see how it begins!

  20. Certainly, sirs! Good to hear from you.

    And now that you’re commenting, Eoghan, feel free to ask for clarification in the Comments section whenever I get inexplicable/unGoogleable. It’ll probably lead to interesting stuff coming out.

  21. Charles Spaak, writer of Fin Du Jour, on Duvivier

    “He was a loner, too rich for his own good, who shot too many films, like others drink too much.The Cinema was his his drug”

  22. That’s beautiful!

    Spaak, like Victor Francen, star of the film, should be one of everybody’s Ten Famous Belgians.

    Scorsese: “As with drugs, the cure for movies was… more movies.”

  23. I’m nought but a lurker but at the risk of sounding like a freeloader to boot, La Fin Du Jour sounds immense fun. May I be furnished with a copy?

  24. You may! And don’t be a stranger!

  25. Add me to the list!

  26. Add me too, please! Sounds like fun, as usual!

  27. Great, you are both added. First posting session will be Tuesday, but that will only be a few of ’em.

  28. I would love a copy.

  29. I’ll have to ask for one too. Maybe you can blog about it later and we can all discuss it. Like what TV execs call a communal experience.. So rare nowadays. You might be changing the internet here, sir.

  30. Cool, keep ’em coming. I’ll be in touch to get addresses. Yes, I think once a decent number of discs have gone out and been watched we can all have a sing-song. Sing-song? I mean illuminating round-robin discussion.

  31. I it possible to be added to this wonderful offer? I would be more than pleased if I can get one!


    p.s. I discovered this wonderful offer and place thanks to the davidbordwell blog

  32. my email is

    thanks again

  33. Please add me to the list for a copy! How do I go about sending you my address?

  34. Yes — I’ll contact you all to get your postal addies. Although your email isn’t displayed in your posts, I can see it with my special wordpress specs.

  35. Longtime lurker – first time caller. Splendid blog – daily reading for me.

    I’d love a copy – I can watch it with my French girlfriend and she can get all teary-eyed and yearn for the homeland.

    Keep up the marvellous work!

  36. Your request touches my heart — a copy will be forthcoming.

  37. Hey, sounds cool, I’d like a copy.

    I’m a bit of a lurker as well, so count me in!

  38. Yes, I’d love a copy.



  39. Great. I’ve deleted your address Jonathan so you don’t get a lot of junk mail or anything, but I’ve noted it down and will be mailing a disc shortly.

    And I’ll email you, Vagrarian, and get your postal address.

  40. Matthew Flanagan Says:


    What a magnificently effective ploy to coax us lurkers out of the woodwork – can’t pass it up.

    I almost feel guilty taking advantage of such rampant generosity – how about I send an SAE to alleviate my conscience?


  41. I’m sure we can work something out, quid-pro-quo, but an SAE isn’t necessary. I’ll email you for your address.

  42. Kelly N. Wiggin Says:

    I’ve been wanting to comment for a while, but I’ve always felt too shy. Echoing MF above, this is a pretty good gambit to get us lurkers out in the open!

    I almost don’t want to ask, but would you consider sending one to the US? I would certainly pay you either in postage or money for a copy of this.

  43. Bob Engesser Says:

    Please add me to the list for La Fin Du Jour and let me know how can reimburse you for postage to the USA. I saw the occasionaly interesting George Axlerod/Richard Quine remake for the fist time a few weeks ago which along with your blog has sparked my interest in the the original.

  44. It’s no problem posting to the US. If people have stuff to trade, I’ll be delighted to talk about it. I’ll email you both shortly.

    Just to avoid confusion — the Quine film, Paris When It Sizzles, is a remake of La Fete a Henriette, not La Fin Du Jour. I’ve never seen Henriette, but it sounds like a fascinating piece of post-modernist fun.

  45. May I please have a copy, too?
    Have seen a dubbed version of Duvivier’s La Chambre ardente (1962).
    I love Ursula K. LeGuin too. Favorites: the Hainish books, and “Very Far Away From Anywhere Else”. Most recent read: “Visions”.
    Is the Jeckyll and Hyde 1912 from the Thanhauser Films DVD?
    It has good early movies: “The Cry of the Children”, “The Evidence of the Film”. Just keep watching those 1910’s…

  46. Sure thing.

    Yes, Duvivier is one of the few to have filmed John Dickson Carr, although the word is he messed the plot up somewhat.

    I read LeGuin as a kid, but must return to her — I feel sure I’ll get so much more out of her. And those stories have stayed with me.

    Somebody else posted the Jekyll clip on Youtube so I’m unsure of its source, but it’s a Thanhauser film so that disc seems likely.

    As I’m sure you know, David Bordwell has a great post on 1910s stuff here:

  47. First day I find your blog, you’re giving away cool stuff. Please sign me up!

  48. david sanjek Says:

    Could you please send one. I’d seen your website before, but just got hyped to it, and this offer, once again on the Girish page. I wish more French work of the 30s were available. I had a video of Duvivier’s Poil De Carrotte (sp.?) which was X-generation but a lovely piece of work. I reviewed the Criterion of Pepe le Moko on the PopMatters website a while ago. Started off by introducing him, and Gabin, as I figured that though the site has smart readers, this is not a guy they would know.

    Have a lousy copy of The Bowery, which is terribly enjoyable if spite of as well as because of the outrageousness. Now, speaking of the 30s (and the US), does ANYONE have access to a copy of Garnett’s My Man, which I saw at MOMA some years ago: pretty impressive stuff, with some stunning camerawork that belies the notoion of the technical slowness of the time: 1930.

    Dave Sanjek

  49. OK, I’ll contact you for an address.

    I don’t have My Man, but I’ll certainly look out for it based on your comments.

    Poil de Carotte is wonderful — I’ve seen an equally crappy copy of the talkie version, but I believe Duvivier’s original silent is now available on disc.

  50. I am so excited I feel like it’s Christmas. Yes, yes, by all means. Do you drop me a line now? I don’t see your email. I just saw a late Duvivier that was much better than its reputation: Marie-Octobre. I really want to see Un Carnet du Bal and its later American companion piece, Lydia. Far as I know neither is available and I never even see them on TV.

  51. Yes, please I’d like a copy. Thanks for doing this.

  52. I’ll email you in a minute!

    Really want to see Marie-Octobre: the casting of Danielle Darrieux in a tale about resistance and collaboration is pointed to say the least. She spent a chunk of WWII with a French resistance death penalty hovering over her for going on a German tour (it’s a good story, I should write about it).

    Carnet du Bal isn’t, somehow, as great as one feels it should be — the individual episodes are thin, and too many. But the idea is astonishing, and the contrast between the heroine’s romantic memory of her first ball, which is an almost Red Shoes-like fantasy, and the reality, a memory triggered when she revisits the original venue — that stuff works marvellously.

    I don’t recall Lydia being so great, but I’m pretty sure it’s available in the UK, somehow. Will look out for it.

  53. I was steered here from the Siren’s place, I’ll have to add it to the reading list, and yes, would like a copy if you don’t mind.

  54. Saw your advert on the Siren page, would you please be good enough to send me a pressing? Thanks so very much!

  55. Oh yes please. How spiffingly generous of ye.

  56. Yup, chalk up another two copies. I’ll email you for addresses.

  57. I’d like a copy too, that’d be great. Thanks for the offer!

  58. Fine! I’ll email you.

  59. A generous offer, and a truly rare film! None of my sources have it. I’d take a copy, but alas, I’m still refusing all new films until I watch the ones I already have, or until 2009, whichever comes first. 2009 will come first.

  60. Ok, remind me come Jan 1st and I’ll send you a copy then!

  61. Tony Williams Says:

    Thank you, David for your generosity. I’m also trying to add a comment to your BLIND DATE article and now I’ve registered I should be able to do so.

  62. I guess so. I’m always forgetting to look, but now that you’ve reminded me, I’ll check in case there’s anything else there!

  63. Brad Stevens Says:

    Would love to get a copy of this. I recall BBC2 screening it as part of a week of French films in the late 80s (undoubtedly the source of Anderson’s off-air recording). Clouzot’s L’ASSASSIN HABITE AU 21 was also in the season. Difficult to imagine the BBC doing anything like this now.

  64. Difficult? Impossible! I got a copy of that Clouzot airing from a different source, and it’s in better condition. Really nice film too, well worthy of release, and it’s very interesting to see Clouzot in a lighter mode — the unpleasantness is still there!

  65. robert keser Says:

    What a great offer, David: thank you very much! I’ve been an impassioned yet frustrated Duvivier-phile since seeing the wonderful POIL DE CAROTTE at an impressionable age (lo these many decades ago). No one can truly say that they have experienced frustration until they have hunted for copies of DAVID GOLDER or GOLGOTHA, let alone ALLO BERLIN? ICI PARIS! (I have yet to find any copies).

    Incidentally, LYDIA has some synthetic aspects to it, but Duvivier makes the most of Lee Garmes’ sumptutous photography, and he even animates the usually distant Merle Oberon.

    Not so incidentally, thanks to Mike Grost for pointing my way to Shadowplay!

  66. Great to hear from a fellow frustrated fan! The fact that a film as historically important as La Belle Equipe is impossible to see is really vexatious. And La Fin du Jour is never even mentioned. Panique, which I’ve seen in incredibly fuzzy VHS form with illegible subtitles, is another highly emotional, beautiful gem.

    Merle O is an interesting case: she makes an effort in Berlin Express, and this results in the worst ever performance in a Jacques Tourneur film. Wyler makes her human in These Three, partly by having her deliver lines while eating a sadnwich (that always works), and the results are terrific. The fragments of I Claudius show Sternberg having a great time with her beauty and froideur.

    She was apparently quite a goer in real life, but she kept it off the screen.

  67. Never having seen a Duvivier pic before I’d love to get a copy of this.Is there any chance for this poor lurker ?

  68. I am also interested in procuring this Duvivier. Please contact. Thank you for making this possible!

  69. Will email shortly!

  70. […] calculated that I had mailed or at least packed 30 discs in the Great Duvivier Giveaway, with 11 requests still to fulfill. And I decided before I began that I was happy to dispense at […]

  71. DaViD DVD’s fine. Would love a copy–and if I can figure out how to make copies of my own bootlegs, would love to make it a trade.

  72. I’ll email you to arrange postage.

  73. What the hell, sign me up. Can’t argue with the price!

  74. Great — will email you for address.

  75. Jonathan Luke Says:

    Just found your website today via David Bordwell’s site and I’m intrigued by your offer, so please sign me up. I’ve never seen any Duvivier, so this should be a treat. Incidentally, the fact that this is off-air prompts the sad reflection that classic but little-known films like this one are hardly ever shown on tv these days: both the BBC and C4 seem to have given up.

  76. That’s a great site Mr Bordwell has, isn’t it! I’ll be glad to provide you with a copy. Yes, British television has abandoned any pretence at showing older foreign films — or new ones! One used to very occasionally get a foreign film airing even in the afternoon. Now it’s late at night and often not even then. Channel 4’s film screenings have declined in general, and ITV was never any good.

  77. I adore your blog, and would love a copy, out of respect for the fervor of your advocacy (and the cinephilic principle of the rare out-of-print DVD-R) almost as much as out of curiosity about the film.

  78. robert keser Says:

    Greetings again, David–

    One Duvivier DVD release not mentioned above is Vanguard Cinema’s LA BANDERA, the fairly elaborate 1935 adventure story that anticipates PEPE LE MOKO, with Jean Gabin as a murderer who escapes to North Africa. There he joins the Spanish Foreign Legion and dallies with co-star Annabella as a “native” lovely. This is not Duvivier’s finest film, but it’s rather surprisingly tough (and the director co-authored the screenplay with Charles Spaak, suggesting his close involvement with the material). If you don’t have a copy, I’ll see what I can do to get you one.

    Another Duvivier title available in the U.S. is the wartime UNTEL PERE ET FILS from Alpha Video, the absolutely-no-frills company that specializes in forgotten (and therefore cheap) films. This one turns out to be doubly frustrating since the just-okay print seems to be seriously cut for an American release, and even worse, is dubbed into English under the title THE HEART OF A NATION. Despite all this, the film does have some interesting moments, but it’s hard to recommend this seriously distorted version.



  79. I have La Bandera, thanks. I was just thinking of watching it again after reading the enticing desciption in Dudley Andrew’s Mists of Regret, the best book I’ve found on classic French cinema and Duvivier’s role in it.

    I was interested in getting Heart of a Nation, but reviews put me off slightly. I’m reluctant to pay for something so messed-about.

    Tonight we watched the all-but-forgotten Panique, which I think is another masterpiece. Much more on it later. It’s another release from a grey-market US company, with attendant picture and sound quality issues, but the movie itself is quite striking, thematically and aesthetically.

  80. […] control — although most of the DVDs going out in my Great Duvivier Giveaway should contain only one track, LA FIN DU JOUR, several actually contain two false starts. Before […]

  81. Though i can’t promise I’ll watch it anytime soon, I would love to take advantage of your generosity and get a copy of the film. And while much of my bootleg material was erased in a recent-ish hard drive crash, I might still have something of interest to offer.

  82. Great, I’ve emailed you.

  83. Hello David! Great blog and this brief scene of the film looks great too! I would love to have a copy.

  84. Cool, I’ll email you for an address.

  85. I’d love to see this! I’d also be willing to save you the trouble of mailing out a copy by downloading a RapidShare file or perhaps a bittorrent.

    I saw Poil de Carotte many years ago at Cinefest in Syracuse, and the news that the silent version is available somewhere is welcome indeed.

  86. No trouble — and I still haven’t figured out how to use Rapidshare etc. I’ll email you to arrange it. And thanks for your splendid blog, from which I’m afraid I’ve poached the odd image…

  87. I join with others in loving to see this film. How do I go about getting a copy? Thank you again.

  88. I’ll email you for a postal address.

  89. Hi!

    Please put me down for a copy also. Found out about this site from DVD Savant.

  90. Great. I’ll email you for details. Getting lots of hits from Savant’s link –Than God not everybody wants a disc!

  91. Thanks for your generous offer, which I read about on I’d love a copy.

  92. MovieFanatic Says:

    Thank you for this great offer for La Fin Du Jour. New to this site thanks to Savant, but now a regular reader. Great site! I appreciate the offer for the disc & would love to obtain a copy.

  93. Hi,
    Great posts, and well done for the Julien Duvivier reappraisal! I’m a film studies professor, from the UK but living in the US, and I regularly screen PEPE LE MOKO to my world cinema overview students. It generally goes down very well, and I always put in a pitch for JD. The next week we often watch CASABLANCA, which gives great connections for the Curtiz/Duvivier reputations, the links between the two films, and how both project fantasies of Africa. Great stuff. Anyway, if there are any DVD-Rs still going for your giveaway, please count me in. Shall I email you my address?
    Cheers, Tim.

  94. Have dropped you a line. LA BANDERA is also exciting for North African stuff.

    The Duvivier-Curtiz comparison is a pretty solid one, although of course Duvivier was also a writer. And the other problem is that Curtiz is regularly undervalued since the variety of his work fights against an auteurist interp. His formal virtues are immense, as with JD, but most film criticism downgrades formal qualities in favour of theme.

  95. I’d love a copy. In exchange, if you’re interested I can send along a copy of “Goupi Mains Rouges” or “Fric-Frac”, for French films of roughly similar vintage (no subtitles, sadly). I especially like the first one.

  96. Brilliant! I want both! I’ll email you and maybe we can arrange a double trade.

  97. I would like to take a look at this and appreciate your offer. I found your blog after a mention from DVD Savant. (I could not, however, find a direct email address for you, so I hope this way is OK. Thank you! (Bill.)

  98. That’s fine. I’ll email you.

  99. helen jackson Says:

    We would like a copy please.

    Helen and Bob Jackson

  100. I’ll email you for an address.

  101. Just got a referral to this site and have been going through the archives. WOW!
    If it’s still available I would love to get even a s%$t copy of LA FIN DU JOUR.

    I’ve seen bits and pieces but not the whole thing and it is one film I am anxiously waiting for the opportunity to experience.

  102. Jeremy Davies Says:

    Oh, yes please. And thank you.

  103. I would love to see this film. I’ve only seen The Great Waltz and was impressed with the flowing camerawork. Thanks

  104. OK guys, I’ll email you all. I might end up sending three discs to one of you and asking him to distribute! It’s not the disc-making, it’s the postage that hurts!

  105. Hi. Just got pointed to your site by the inestimable DVD Savant and a bit overwhelmed by the wealth of material. As someone who only knows Duvivier by way of Pepe le Moko, I’m intrihued by the clip from La Fin du Jour — and would definitely enjoy receiving a copy! … Also surprised, on looking him up on-line, that he directed an adaptation of David Golder in 1930, the first novel of Irene Nemirovsky whose work I started getting into last year … if you come across an old VHS of THAT one, I’d love a copy!


    I don’t think it has subtitles though.

    I’ll email you for an address to post to. Thanks for stopping by.

  107. What a great idea. Sign me up for a copy.

  108. Oke! I’ll email you for an address.

  109. I just started reading the blog last week. Do I still qualify for a copy of LA FIN DU JOUR?

  110. Sure — it’s not like loyalty points. Well, FUTURE loyalty points, maybe.

  111. James Hendrie Says:

    I too would love a copy. What a great blog. I found it a week ago via “Why That’s Delightful”.

  112. Oke. I’ll email ya.

  113. […] to bring Julien Duvivier’s film LA FIN DU JOUR to a wider audience. Just follow the link to The Great Duvivier Giveaway and follow the instructions that you find there for a glorious gifting. « Robotnik: […]

  114. Ted Haycraft Says:

    Hey if the offer is still good I would love to view a copy of this film!!!

    Do i need to send you my snail mail address? And I would be more than happy to help on the postage!!!

    The Fan With No Name!!!
    Evansville, IN USA

  115. I’ll email you for an address. I have a system where some people help on the postage my mailing on a second DVD. We’ll see if you’re near anubody you can help that way.

  116. […] trip will slow me down as far as mailing out DVDs for the Great Duvivier Giveaway, but I’ll still be blogging as much as possible. And there are lots of discs in the post […]

  117. James Mewis Says:

    I’d love a copy too, if that’s possible….

  118. I’ll email you. The offer is still on. Might take a bit longer, is all.

  119. Would you send a copy to Brazil?

  120. So is this still on? I’m always up for 30s French cinema. Damn the New Wave for eclipsing it.

  121. Just stumbled accross your blog…WOW…I have been midssing a lot…enjoy the writing and commnetary. Keep up the good work!

  122. Yup, it’s still on, and I’d be DELIGHTED to ship to Brazil. I want to hit every continent.

    I like the New Wave too, y’understand, but I don’t see why we can’t appreciate both — if we’re able to see them.

    Have taken 72 orders now, and am happy to make it up to 100!

  123. would love a copy also by the way!

  124. I’ll email you.

  125. E-mail da thing!


  126. hi man,
    thanks for the offer – you must be really loving that film!!
    i would like a copy!!!

  127. I’ll email you later in the week to arrange delivery.

  128. Domenic Bruni Says:

    You’ve convinced me. May I have a copy of the film? Thanks in advance.

  129. Pavandeep Singh Says:

    Wow, I have been trying to get more Duvivier, I really feel this is awfully generous of you, whatever the state of the copy. I would really like a copy.

  130. OK, I’m emailing you! Picked up a copy of the intriguing Golgotha while in Italy, but it’s without English subs. Still, I kind of know the story…

  131. Mr. Cairns, thank you for this generous and necessary offer. I’d love to take you up on it.

  132. […] copies of LA FIN DU JOUR are still being given away gratis here if you declare yourselves in the Comments section and say you want one. Also, I’m going to […]

  133. Here sir! Present.

  134. neilmac1971 Says:

    I’d love a copy too please, big admirer of Duvivier, in fact have just finished working on subtitling an excellent print of the 1932 version of “Poil de Carotte” and hope soon to be getting a nice print of “Un Carnet du Bal” to work on too.

    Look forward to hearing from you,


  135. Simon, I can’t believe I haven’t already served you, a regular. Will contact you both and get you discs. Neilmac, I’m going to be pestering you for those subtitled Duvivs, and I know a certain Self-Styled Siren who’ll be over the moon at the prospect of Carnet du Bal. (Isn’t Louis Jouvet’s criminal argot awfully difficult to translate?)

  136. Charles Drazin Says:

    I’m so pleased you’re encouraging a long overdue appreciation of one of the cinema’s greatest directors. I’ve seen La Fin du jour and agree with you that it is ‘unspeakably superb’, as are so many of Duvivier’s other films. To watch Poil de Carotte, and then Les Quatre Cents Coups, is to get some sense of how the New Wave stole from the cinema it denigrated. The pity was that the New Wave’s lack of regard for Duvivier was then picked up by influential arbiters of taste in the English-speaking world. David Thomson, for example. In about 1975, his wonderful “Biographical Dictionary of the Cinema” helped to hook me on to the movies, but over thirty years later I am still waiting impatiently for him to change his nasty entry on Duvivier, which I think entirely misses the mark. Perhaps it wasn’t possible for him in the early 1970s to get hold of enough Duvivier films to make an informed judgement. So if you still have free copies of La Fin du jour going, could you send one to Thomson? It would be great if he could be persuaded to reconsider and revise his entry on Duvivier in time for the next edition. If not, tant pis – chacun à son goût, after all.

    Just before he died Lindsay Anderson lent me several videos from his collection, every now and then recommending a particular favourite of his – I remember in particular a marvellous Victor Saville film called “South Riding”. Always immensely encouraging, Lindsay was a great believer in direct action, so I’m sure he would be delighted to feel that his copy of La Fin du jour was being put to such good use.

  137. I would love to send a bunch of Duviviers to Thomson if you have an address!

    I must revisit the Anderson Archive to check out South Riding. I copied several other Saville films I found there, including ones with Jessie Matthews. I now have some clips from them up on YouTube and intend to blog about them soon.

  138. Charles Drazin Says:

    Happy birthday, Julien, 112 today!

  139. Wow, two days before my own birthday! This calls for a drink.

  140. hurrah, it’s still going! i’m one of those ‘lurkers and loiterers’, but also a shadowplay novitiate having only stumbled in around the time the GDG started. didn’t feel right partaking in the largesse right off the bat, but now i’m ready, and hungry! Thanks!

  141. Great, have emailed you.

  142. This is a film I’d love to see (and not, as some may suspect, because you’re offering it ‘gratis’). Could I sucessfully add my name to the request roster, if it’s at all convenient? You have my immense thanks in advance for even considering it.

    A very fine blog, by the way.

  143. Thanks! I’ll email you for a postal address, delighted to share this one with you.

  144. Hello, another lurker here. I recently saw my first Duvivier (Pepe Le Moko) and after reading your posts, I’m dying to see La Fin Du Jour. Would you please add me to the list? Thanks in advance!

  145. Harry Farrer Says:

    As an fan (I am 78 now) of Julien Divivier since my youthness, when I saw some of his movies (“Panique”, “Sous le Ciel de Paris” and “Tales of Manhattan”) in the cinema-theater of my town (Belo Horizonte, Brazil), when they were exhibited, with portuguese subtitles, about 60 years ago. I never forgot these films.
    Now, in DVD era (or DaViD, as suggested by your blog), I’m trying to get a DVD-copy of these films, as well as others of Duvivier, in .
    As I saw in your web-page (discovered with Google) the offer to send a copy of Duvivier’s “La Fin du Jour”, I couldn’t resist to enroll myself to receive a DVD-copy. Am I still on time?

  146. Absolutely! I’ll need to see if I can sort you out with some of the others too. Always happy to hear from a fellow fan.

  147. I watched Panique on VHS some eight, ten years ago , rented it from the public library. Loved it, I’ve looked for it since, don’t know if it’s ever been released on DVD or not. Gotta go, time to hunt.

  148. David,
    Just read your user comment for Panique on IMDB, I have a feeling that I may have read others in the past. I knew that name seemed familiar.

  149. I forgot I’d written that!

    You can probably still get Panique on tape from Nostalgia Family Video — otherwise, let’s make a deal. My copy comes from tape too, of course…

  150. Still waiting to hear from you re. Temple Drake/They Drive by Night.

  151. Steve Mallory Says:

    Thanks for your kind and generous offer, David. I very much look forward to experiencing this classic film — and will post a comment after viewing it.

  152. I’ve been petitioning film forum for over a year now to host a Duvivier retrospective, and I can’t believe my good luck in finding your site. I will name my first born after you if you can send me a DVD of La Fin Du Jour, but especially The Golem (if you have it) or Panique!

  153. I can help out with Panique, although the subtitling isn’t good. By the weirdest coincidence imaginable, I just transferred my VHS of Le Golem to disc TODAY. But the bad news — no subtitles at all on this one. I’ll email you.

  154. Having just discovered your wonderful blog I’ve been glutting myself on it (and the comments, which are often as entertaining as the posts) all day. I know nothing of this Duvivier you mention – but as our tastes co-incide everywhere else, I’d be willing to bet I’m going to love him. If you’d like a reciprocal swap, I’ve just transferred my ’90s VHS of Dieterle’s extraordinary The Last Flight which I’d very happily send on, if you haven’t seen it….

  155. Cool! I’ll email you and get a postal address. I like a bit of Dieterle now and again, especially in his Hollywood expressionist mode, so I wouldn’t say no to The Last Flight.

  156. […] Gareth McFeely responds to the Great Duvivier Giveaway with a thoughtful and original analysis of LA FIN DU JOUR in the political context of […]

  157. […] after the excellent Charles Drazin suggested I contact David Thomson and let him in on The Great Duvivier Giveaway, my scheme to reshape the movie canon, in hopes of getting him to change his mind about Julien […]

  158. Jeff Zorrilla Says:

    I’d love a copy

  159. Hi!

    Wow, are you still giving away DVR’s of “La Fin du Jour.” I’d love to have one.

    I love Duvivier, and I have never seen this film.

    Last year, I published my book about Jean Gabin ( — the first book in English.

    Now if I can only come up with an English-subtitled DVD of “La Belle Equipe,” I’ll be on cloud 9!


    Chuck Zigman,
    Los Angeles

  160. Can do! I’ll send you an email.

    The DVD-R will be UK format so you may have to play it on your computer, but freeware like VLC Media Player would play it even if your existing software didn’t.

  161. RCorliss Says:

    I’d love to “see” LA FIN DU JOUR, though your most tantalizing description suggests the film exists only in a Braille version. And I’m honored to receive a freebie from such an acute commentator. Viva Duvivier!

  162. Superb! An honour to supply a copy to you! I’ll send you an email to establish the address.


    Hello D Cairns

    Can you, or anyone, supply a good DVD or VHS copy of ‘ALLO BERLIN? ICI PARIS! (Duvivier 1932)?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Sincerely Joel Greenberg

  164. Don’t know of anyone who has that one, although they’re showing it at MOMA in New York in May, i believe…

  165. Christoph Says:

    Hi D Cairns,
    I happened upon your blog only now, is there any chance to get on the bandwagon for LA FIN DU JOUR? I’ve been championing Duvivier for a long time and while Japan used to be the only place where Duvivier was constantly in high esteem, the general tide does seem to have turned in his favour over the past year or two – meaning of course that ten years from now he’s going to be forgotten again. You wouldn’t mind trades, I suppose: Bob Keser and Joel Greenberg will be glad to hear that I have a serviceable DVD of ALLO BERLIN – ICI PARIS ! / HALLO HALLO – HIER SPRICHT BERLIN! (1932) , plus excellent ones of POIL DE CAROTTE (1925), AU BONHEUR DES DAMES (1930), LES CINQ GENTLEMEN MAUDITS (1931), GOLGOTHA (1935), FLESH AND FANTASY (1943), THE IMPOSTOR (1944), and a compromised one of LYDIA (1941). [And then there’s Grémillon, Feyder, et cetera] Just shoot me an e-mail. If I knew a way to contact the other posters I’d spread the word for ALLO BERLIN myself.

  166. Just emailed you, sounds great!

  167. Hi,
    I’d like to jump on the bandwagon and spread the word in Germany where I could manage to slip an article about it into a very well selling publication about film classics … if it’s great enough :-). I also have ALLO BERLIN ICI PARIS in a fine copy and could supply you with some other rarities. Please shoot me a mail.

  168. I’m doing it!

  169. Omar Amador Says:

    Dear Mr. Cairns,
    I just discovered your blog and your wonderful, supergenerous offer. Is it still standing? If so, I would LOVE to have a copy of that film that I’ve been pursuing for a long time. They are selling a DVD copy in ebay, but it only has Korean and Japanese subtitles. Coincidentally tonite I just saw Hotel du Nord for the first time, and I was fascinated by it. I greatly admire French movies from that era but they are very difficult to get w. subtitles in English or Spanish. I just got a great copy of Duvivier’s Marianne de ma jeunesse w. Eng. subts. from a Korean dealer in ebay–it’s from the 50’s but still Duvivier. Please let me know if you need postage or anything for the copy of La fin du jour. I hope I’m not too late for your kind offer. My email is and let me know how can I provide you w. my address. Thanks! BTW, do you know how I can get a copy of Carne de Bal?

  170. I have Carnet du Bal but without subtitles. We’ll just have to wait and lobby for that one.

    Love Hotel du Nord, Louis Jouvet is a hero.

    Since I’m out of the country for ten days (seeing Duviviers in NYC), can I ask you to send me a reminder anytime from next Monday onwards, then we can see about getting you a disc of La Fin Du Jour. I wrote about Marianne here as well, somewhere, and my latest acquisition is The Mystery of the Eiffel Tower, also covered on Shadowplay.

  171. Omar Amador Says:

    Thanks! I have a friend who’s also going to the MOMA showing of Carnet de Bal. I come back next week.

  172. Great, talk to you soon. Unfortunately I’ll be headed back home by the time Carnet du Bal plays, but hope to have a DVD of it soon.

  173. Omar Amador Says:

    I believe someone was asking for Remorques here the other day. Look what I found. I’m not interested in dubbed version, but someone else might.

  174. I think I have a version with subtitles. Or do I? I’ll check when I get back.

  175. Omar Amador Says:

    There is a guy here in Miami who has some of this kind of movies (French, Italian, 40s-60s) that I have been buying w. Spanish subtitles (Jour se leve, 7 Deadly Sins, An American in Rome, Bellisima, Les portes de la nuit, La vie a deux, Un giorno in pretura,etc.). He has Remorques, but very expensive for me ($30). And there is a Korean guy in ebay from whom I have bought a few excellent versions w. Eng. subts. (Marianne, L’air de Paris, Viaggio a Italia, Hotel du Nord, Fan Fan la Tulipe). Have you ever seen Las murs de Malapaga? (Clement, Gabin, Isa Miranda). I been after it w. no results.

  176. No, never seen that one, but I’ll have a scout around.

    I think I can get you Remorques, and will swap for a DVD-R of something nice.

  177. I found a download of the Clement, but the only subs are French.

  178. Omar Amador Says:

    I’ll make you a list of what I have

  179. Brilliant, thanks! I’m back home now so we can start to do business.

  180. Yes, please count me in. I’m happy to pay through PayPal for it. I’m in Australia. Please email me for further details. You’re a legend!

  181. Cool, I’ll email you. No need to worry about payment, but we can always arrange a swap if you like.

  182. Ooh, I’d love a copy. I’ve been enjoying the Duviviers at MOMA, but I can’t make it for “La Fin du jour.” Let me know how to get you an address. I have a modest list of things I could trade.

  183. Omar Amador Says:

    Is it still on the Le Fin du Jour offer? What should I do to give you my address? Regards

  184. I’ll email you!

  185. I’m a stranger here (myself), but I too would love to see the Duvivier if the offer extends this far. I finally got to see “Panique” a couple months ago and I’m pretty much nuts about the guy now.

  186. Thanks a lot! (This is one of the menschiest offers I’ve ever seen.)

  187. Omar Amador Says:

    Are you still offering the Duvivier giveaway? I sent you my address a few weeks ago.

  188. I’ve been trying to reach you by email! Let’s try again.

  189. Hi

    I lover vintage French films, and would love a copy of this. I have a great subtitled version of both Panique and Remorques, and I’m working on a great edition of Quatorze Juliet, the Rene Clair classic, and I have purchased foreign editions of Fin du Jour and Carnet de Bal in the hope of one day adding English subtitles (or learning French, whichever comes first!!!)

    Anyhow, I’d really like to obtain subtitles for any of the rare French classics, so I’d love a subtitled film of ‘Fin du Jour’ if anyone can help.

  190. Brilliant! I’d be happy to send you a copy, and then maybe we can get an upgrade — old BBC subtitles re-transcribed onto a pristine picture! I’m emailing you.

  191. La Faustin Says:

    Paris-based lurker here — I’d love to get a subtitled disk for my mother in the US.

    Have you seen Duvivier’s Voici le Temps des Assassins? What did you think?

    Many thanks for your giveaway and for Shadowplay itself.

  192. Thank you!

    I recently acquired Voice but haven’t watched it yet. I gather it’s pretty dark stuff…

    Will email you to arrange delivery.

  193. Paul Murphy Says:

    David I certainly hope the offer is still good. The Duvivier retro is coming to PFA Berkeley in October, and the one day I’ll be unable to attend they are showing fin du jour. Can you send me a copy so I’ll hopefully have the complete retrospective experience.

    I’d be grateful as i’m greatful for your writing.


  194. OK! I really should get my hands on the upgrade I’ve heard about… I’ll look into that in case I can get it for you.

    I’ll email you for an address.

  195. hello, if still available i would love to get a copy of La Fin du Jour; i’ve been scouring the internet for it after seeing it at PFA, and thought the only version available was the japanese subtitle one. i’m desperate to see it again.

  196. I think we can arrange that! I’ll email you.

  197. Hello’
    I’ve been longing to find more Duvivier with subtitles since seeing ‘La Belle Equipe’ and ‘Panique’ some years ago – please conract me if ‘La Fin du Jour’ is still available. Also I’d be interested in any other Duvivier or Gremillon (Remorques?) – and don’t get me started on Yves Allegret.
    Look foward to hearing from you,

  198. I’ll email you about this!

  199. Cough, you may remember me commenting earlier this week on a post dated earlier, so I stand as a vague non-lurker through the sands of time. Any chance this deal is still applicable?

  200. I never formally closed the offer… if there’s any chance we could do a trade of movies, that’d be even better (from my point of view). The good news is, I now have a far more pristine copy of the film…

  201. Have you a copy of East Side West Side, the George C Scott television show?

  202. No, but it sounds great! Just back from LA, I’ll email you when I’m conscious.

  203. Guy Lavoie Says:

    Is the Great Duvivier Giveaway still active? I have recently become enthralled by French films and cannot find english subtitles to Le Fin du Jour. If you are still offering copies , I would like bevery thankful.

  204. Alas, I’m not in a financial condition to carry on giving the film out, postage costs being the main barrier, but I will swap the film (now in upgraded condition) for another movie… to justify the cost of posting, swapping several at a time is also good.

  205. The film seems to be unavailable here in the States. I’d love to get a copy. Perhaps I could trade you for something in my collection?

  206. I’ve sent you a message via Facebook!

  207. I haven’t received the message. Can you resend? Or tell me another way to contact you?

  208. Hello, I would love to have a copy of La Fin Du Jour with English subtitles! I will happily trade you something from my collection if your offer still stands. Thank you! –Scott

  209. Using modern science there’s a way to do this now at no expense to myself, so I’ll say yes. I’ll email you re details.

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