Hotel du Nord (1938) - full transcript

On the mournful bank of the meandering Canal St. Martin, at the cheap Parisian Hôtel du Nord, the dejected young lovers, Pierre and Renée, take a room, bent on fulfilling an unholy pact. Then, in the dead of night, a nearly fatal gunshot chills the bone to the marrow, splitting the couple, apparently, forever. However--amid a sad but beautiful panorama of streetwise prostitutes; hard-as-nails procurers in impeccable suits; forlorn survivors; murderous former companions, and the police--unfulfilled desires, secret passions, and a dangerous romantic triangle have the final say. Now, in love's name, high expectations for a fresh start and a deadly semi-automatic pistol separate hope from despair. Can life be as easy as a fairy tale?

Mind your dress, Lucette.


- Give her some wine.
- There you go.

- Trimault?
- No, I've told you.

- One glass for the girl.
- Ginette, tell him.

It's bad for him.

Not exactly for me, but for my work.

His work... Weird sort of work, it is.

We can't all be cops.

Too bad, the world
would be a safer place.

But we'd all go hungry.

Isn't Prosper awful? He's
a real terror sometimes.

- One more, Jeanne.
- You forget my blood?

You sound like you're
the only one who has any.

Give it to me. Opening
a wine bottle is an art.

But I sell mine. And who
would buy unhealthy blood?

Drink poisons the bloodstream.

My word! You do overload yourself.

Lock-keeper and blood
donor. Two jobs, one man!

Donating blood is no
job, it's an honor.

My blood's clean, but I wouldn't
sell it for all the gold in China.

If you got 400 francs for a liter
like he does, anyone here would.

To think people had my blood
in their veins. How indecent!

I shouldn't mind. Blood
is blood, after all.

Dear, you're not fussy.

I wouldn't sell mine. I like
to keep it with me. Sorry.

Can't we find a better subject
for a first communion party?

More cheese, Lucette?

I've eaten enough.
Dad, I'd like some cake.

Here, you do the honors.

- Another dry storm.
- What's wrong with him?

Manolo, darling. Don't worry.

He's all right, don't mind him.

If you ask me, he's scared.

Takes more than this to scare him.

He was two years in
Barcelona, he's used to it.

Then what is it?

It isn't fear, but memories.

Stay with me. No one will hurt you.

- A rum idea of yours!
- What do you mean?

Adopting the boy. Who is he?
Where's he from? Nobody knows.

I know his entire family is dead.

- A foreigner.
- He's not a foreigner, he's an orphan.

- Hello, everyone...
- Jeanne, do the service.

Where's that cake, Mme Ginette?

Lucette, take this to Mme Raymonde.
She must be lonely up there.

Hello, Raymonde.

Hello, darling.

Wow! Is it your wedding day?

For you.

You remembered me? You
yourself, in your pretty dress?

Isn't she cute?

Put it down.

Whose idea was it to send the cake?

- Mine.
- Liar.

- I swear, M. Edmond.
- Fancy lying on such a day.

Don't spoil her party.

- Why didn't you bring me any?
- There was none left.

You could've done this.
Then I'd have a slice.

They love to make me see they
can't bear the sight of me.

Thank them all the same.

Stop it. You're such a wet blanket.

- You don't like cakes.
- I'd like that one.

All right, like it and shut up.

It's not even a pie,
it's just a sponge cake.

Let me give you a kiss.

- How touching...
- Respect religion!

Thank everyone, will you?
Especially Mme Lecouvreur.

It's not bad cake.

Shame on you, making a scene
in front of a harmless child.

Your throat's better, I see.

Luckily, after one hour inhaling.

You've already had enough of it.

- Not there!
- What?

Not near the comb.

Besides, you shouldn't put
the comb next to the jam.

Or the jam next to curling tongs.

Or your toothbrush next
to your rice powder.

- Something else's wrong here.
- What then?

- A woman like me next to you!
- Tough!

Tough? What are you getting at?

I'm learning English
and photography. Tough!

- Tough what? Tough who?
- Forget it.

Even a freelance
photographer needs a license.

That means getting up early.

You'll wake me up.

You stopped loving me? Is
that why you want to work?

I want to be able to buy my own food.

I'm no photographer's mistress.

It's getting dodgy for me
here. The signs are in the air.

You're getting out?

I need a change of scenery.

My life isn't an existence.

You think my existence is a life?

Your throat's obviously better.

I understand.

You couldn't make it plainer.

You want me to go out.

Will you stay put?

I'll wait for you.

How does my kisser look?

- Fine. - Hands-on

Two men in one, a
lock-keeper and a blood donor.

The former would love some plaster,
the latter won't give him any.

You're lucky, Mme Ginette.
Two husbands in one.

- In bed, I'm all alone.
- Rubbish.

I'm telling you, I
find myself dangling.

Let me console you.

- How's your throat, Mme Raymonde?
- Much better.

- Come and have a drink.
- I can't refuse.

I wanted to thank you
for the delicious cake.

A bit too filling, I'm afraid.

We couldn't have angel food
cake at a first communion.

Jeanne, go see what they want.

A nice room for the night.
I'll give them number 16.

Isn't it beautiful?

The canal... the sound of the water...

What time is it?

Ten o'clock, half past ten...

Do you love me?

That's an odd question.

Without your love,
Pierre, I'd be nothing.

I'd be alone in this world.

Perhaps they'll work
all night because of us.

They may be the ones who'll handle it.

But right now you
can show me our gift.

What's there to lose?

It won't jam, will it?

Ren?e, my love...

we can still back out.

Then we'd have to face
life again. Too much hassle.

Too complicated.

You'll leave everything?

I've nothing to leave.

Do you fully realize what
will happen here tonight?


I've often thought about it.

I will lie down next to you,

lay my head on your shoulder

and you'll kiss me gently,
just like the first time.

I'll shut my eyes,

I'll hear your watch
ticking by my ear.

You'll whisper my name

and you'll fire a shot
here, into my heart.

Do it carefully.

I'm wearing the brooch you gave
me, so you can't miss the spot.

Then you'll shut your eyes.

I don't want you to see me die.

Then it'll be your turn.

This is where

you must aim

to join me.

Ren?e, my sweet...

I've never loved you this much before.

I can't love you more deeply.

As life has nothing to offer
us, we'd better put an end to it.

Yes, you're right.

We've tried everything, haven't we?

But the world rejected us.

Everything always went wrong for us.

We'll quit it all with no regrets.

No regrets. We've had our love.

In fact, I deserve
to die. I'm a coward.

Given our situation, I should
be ready to kill for money.

To risk everything.

I'd never do that. Not even for you.

How ugly I am!

Tell me, would you want to kill
yourself even if we hadn't met?

I wouldn't have hoped for happiness.

We have nothing else but
our love in this world.

The others have no love, but
they have everything else.

Only, that's useless.

It doesn't justify a miserable life.

You'll see, it'll be
wonderful. We'll be free.

Out there, it's amazing.

- Out there...
- Yes.

Nothing will matter any more.

We'll be happy.

We'll be...

Yes, our death will be blessed.

Have you ever made a trip?

- No.
- No.

Imagine we're going on our honeymoon.

In an hour, we'll be far away,

and we'll never come back.

Think about it.

Never again will we see the
hotel maid who showed us up here.

Or hear our landlady
on rue du Caire again.

We'll never prowl the
night until dawn again.

Your boss smiling, the sausage
man who refused us credit,

that will all die for us.

The happiest day of my life?

When I bought the Hotel
du Nord, two years ago.

I was a cabinet-maker,
working for others.

I came in here and saw the
bar and all the bottles,

and thought, "It all belongs
to you alone, like your watch. "

I felt I could cry. Remember, Louise?

Fancy crying over a caf?! How sad!

My happiest day was a boat trip.

- You've been on a boat?
- Only to Charenton.

I was eleven and had a new dress on.

And yet, it rained.

Ren?e, my love! Answer me!

Open up.

Come on, beat it.

All right, stand back, please.

There's nothing to see. She's dead.

You, get back inside!

- But Dad...
- You want this?

Taking her to Lariboisi?re?

I'll go along. They might
need me. I can use the money.

And I'm always ready to help.

Her coat.

You called the landlord?

Yes, I even forced the door open.

I was in my room when I heard
a shot from a 6.35 pistol.

A 6.35 for sure. I have a good
ear. So I forced the door down.

Was the victim alone in the room?

- Alone.
- No one else was there?

I only saw the girl.

- Funny...
- What?

Never mind. May I see your papers?

There you are, all in order.

It's funny that you saw no one else.

- Still, I didn't.
- How about the gun?

- I didn't look.
- We found nothing.

- Maybe...
- You didn't pick it up, I imagine?

I'm not in charge of the enquiry.

- All the same, it's odd...
- What's odd?

- That he saw no one.
- He's not an observer!

Why weren't you with everyone else?

Wasn't invited, was doing photos.

- At eleven at night?
- When would you develop a film?

Don't answer him.
He has it in for you.

Your throat's still sore.
Why are you still here?

- The wine I had.
- I invited her to sit with us.

- That any of your business?
- Pardon?

Is that any of your business?

- Papers, please.
- You what?

- I said papers.
- Who does he think he is?

He gets here too late and
wants to see my papers. There.

- Not in order.
- Excuse me?

- Not in order. Come along.
- You can't run her in.

You want to bet? Come along.

Why didn't you listen to me?
Here, take some cigarettes.


I'm dipping a cookie in wine,
a woman dies and I cop it.

- Unbelievable! You live and learn.
- Hurry up!

At least let me fetch my fur.

Don't worry, you'll be back tomorrow.

In four days, more like.

Be seeing you. Don't worry about me.

- Where's Edmond?
- He must've gone to bed.

What is he like?

This is something to crow
over! I'm quite a catch.

- Feeling better now? Is it over?
- Why are you here?

And yourself? I listened to you all
night. Most interesting delirium.

Patients often mumble a lot
of nonsense after an operation.

Strangely enough, you didn't.

Don't move.

- Was I operated on?
- Two transfusions.

From quite a rum donor, by the way.

How about Pierre?

Actually, who's that Pierre
who's always in your ravings?

He's dead, isn't he?

No one mentioned a second corpse.

He's dead.

Poor Pierre... He
didn't miss on himself.

Why did you save me?
I won't miss next time.

A suicide, eh? You little idiot! After
a day here, you'd be put off dying.

- I'll try again.
- Be quiet! You'll get worse!

Out there, we'll be free.

It'll be wonderful.

- How's the survivor?
- Better. Says she'll try again.

Well, well...

Do it a bit earlier next time.

Die in the daytime, I
hate the night shift.

- Feed her.
- What if she refuses?

She won't. She'll want to live now.

It wasn't a suicide. The
murderer's in custody.

It's pointless to be silly now.
He's made a full confession.

He's here, surrounded by cops.

Treat him as he deserves.

I won't see him!

He said so himself. That chap
would slide out of anything.

Now brace yourself.

Face him with strength and dignity.

Gentlemen, come in.

Excuse us.

I won't make this last
any longer than it should.

I only wish to clarify a few facts.

Let me see. You met
your murderer a year ago.

I met Pierre a year ago,
on the 3rd of January.

What were you doing at the time?

I was alone in Paris, I'd
just left the orphanage.

I was placed in a baker's shop.

Did you earn an honest living?

I was given board and lodging.

And I got 75 francs a month.

Not a bad start.

I'd have gone up to 150 francs.

Your work wasn't too exacting, then?

I got up at six in the morning
and went to bed at nine at night.

What was he doing when you met?

A draughtsman.

Was that his sole livelihood?

Did you become his mistress at once?

I was smitten.

You didn't waste any time.

I did, I was locked
away till the age of 21.

Life in an orphanage
is hard and so sad.

They took you in and
enabled you to live.

Yes, enabled me to live.

You left your employment
soon afterwards?

- Three months later.
- Yes. And then?

We lived as best we could.

He sold his drawings,
I sat for artists.

- And then?
- And then... this.

Money ran out, so he
suggested a suicide pact.

Under his spell, you
went to the Hotel du Nord.

There he murdered you and ran.

Yes, I murdered her and I ran.

- He's lying. I shot myself.
- With his gun?

Yes, because I wouldn't
dare buy one myself.

- He confessed.
- He's a child.

Stop it.

It's over between us, we
may as well tell the truth.

I shot you and ran.

I threw the gun into the canal
gardens. You'll find it easily.

It's no use denying the facts.

You know I'm the one who fired.

I missed it, that should prove it.

I've always been so clumsy.

I must ask you to suspend
your interrogation.

It's obviously futile to continue.

One moment.

Nothing to say to her?


Are you crazy or what?

If someone found
that in your pocket...

Look, here's 50 sous.

I'm not taking it, I'm buying it.

All right?

All right.

- Hi, how are you?
- Good.

I've a chicken needs killing.

- Show me to it.
- I'll show you.

After you.

Trust Edmond to be in on a killing.

Some give blood, some
shed other people's blood.

He's got a nasty
mind, whatever you say.

He tortured a mouse for
four hours last Saturday.

The devil finds work for idle hands.

And Mimar's dog. Remember?

- Hunchback?
- Right.

Dumped in the canal with
a stone round its neck.

What did Mimar say?

Nothing. He'd asked Edmond to do it.

Mimar's so soft-hearted.

While Edmond drowned Hunchback,

Mimar locked himself up in
his room so he wouldn't see it.

With Jeanne, by the way.

Isn't that disgusting?

- With Jeanne?
- With Jeanne. Why?

- Come on...
- Want to bet?

How do you know?

Mme Raymonde. Back already?

Already? Four days is
long enough, isn't it?

How did it end the other
night? She snuffed it?

- She got a transfusion.
- Trust you to cash in on a drama!

- Back already!
- You too!

- What do you mean?
- Drop it, it's OK.

- How did it go?
- I waited for it to go.

Four days inside is like
eight on the outside.

I look so scraggy!

Any news of that woman?

Trimault said she got a transfusion.

She'll be fine.

- Who topped her?
- A poor sort of type.

He gave himself up the following day.

- What's that?
- Don't touch it.

- Been shopping?
- Don't touch it, I said.

It's just a souvenir.

- Do you know Gina? Ernest's girl?
- Vaguely.

She also got run in.

We had a chat.

Nazar?de came out a month ago.

He did his whole five years.

And now he's in Paris.

Looking for you.

He means business.

Paris is small, but France is big.


Do you like the Riviera?

The coast? How funny!

Whenever I'm in the
mill, I long for the sun.

We'll pack our bags then.

You're really sweet.

Sometimes you're more
like a brother than a chum.

Improve your vocabulary!


Vocabulary... Funny...

It's the only bit
of slang I don't get.

A side comb.

- What are you after?
- I've got to give her something back.

- Hello, Mme Raymonde. Back already?
- Yes, already.

You left this when you
were cleaning for Edmond.

He likes order.

Combs should go on
heads, not in saucers.

- What's the date?
- The 5th of June.

Two affairs to settle,
then we're off to Toulon.

On the 10th, we'll be having an
aperitif at a sunny table at the Arsenal.

- All right?
- Almost done it.

That's it.

- When's your train?
- 10:50 tonight.

Won't be walking the
metro arches as usual.

Funny kind of job when
you think about it.

Sometimes 25 trains go
by before I find a client.

When I'm bored I count
the trains up above me.

One day, I broke my own record.

For 57 trains, I didn't go with
anyone. And it's a busy station.

- M. Edmond woke up early.
- Up and shaved by seven.

He's gone to the station
to get our tickets.

- Such planning!
- He always has it all figured out.

A perfect traveling partner,
so unlike his usual self.

He's so kind and thoughtful.

He buys oranges and
peels them for you.

Lights your cigarette himself...

A perfect gentleman. He tells
you the history of all the places.

"Here Big Charles did his big heist.

"This is ex-con land.

"Here Alphonse bumped off
D?d?. " What a geographer!

The closer we get to the sea,
the more tender he becomes.

The way he behaves on a train...

He makes third class
feel like first class.

- You often travel together?
- It's the first time.

- For you.
- For me?

To show I don't bear grudges.

That's Kenel come for Trimault's
wife. They have a good time.

I'm off to Charonne. If she wants
to unwind a bit, she can come along.

You have quite a nerve.

Oh, what could we do in a car?

I'm not into complicated stuff.

Is she coming or not?

She's coming.

Is the lock-keeper blind
or does he do it on purpose?

We're friends. He
trusts me. Don't you?

Sure, pal. She's coming.

I know the score.

Sorry, I didn't see you.

That's what we thought.

Bye, now. And not a
word to the Queen Mother.

- Here, Manolo. I remembered you.
- Thank you.

You're late today, M. Adrien.

I was up at six to clean
out my room with carbolic.

I could have got Jeanne to help you.

She's a muddler and I'm
expecting a visitor tonight.

Your lady friend?

No, actually, a mate.

Tell me, Mme Lecouvreur,

those chaps playing cards yesterday...

New tenants, metro
workers. Aren't they nice?

Yes, very nice indeed.

I'm off. Have a nice day.

So house-proud, with
his carbolic acid!

He's always very spruce.
Has to be, in his line.

What's his job?


Excuse me.

Oh, my word... Emile.

Don't you recognize her?

Can't remember where I saw her.

- Number 16.
- Number 16?

Sit down, you must be tired
after all that commotion.

Thank you.

- Have a drink.
- A good drink. That'll do you good.

You came for your clothes?

I wanted to thank you for all
your gifts at the hospital.

So she spoiled you.

I wanted to come and see you,
but I kept putting it off.

To be honest, I was scared.

You see, you weren't
an ordinary patient.

And the papers made such a fuss.

Did you see them? I've saved them.

I'd rather not see them.
You've been so kind.

Yes, you were. You didn't know me.

I caused you nothing but trouble.

And you took an interest in
me, uninteresting as I am.

- That's no way to talk.
- A packet of cigarettes.

I've a barge waiting.

What a surprise! Remember
me? Prosper Trimault.

- Hello.
- Hello, but...

If I hadn't been there,
you wouldn't be here.

I gave you the transfusion.
It's my blood in your veins.

Thank you so very much.

With a Trimault transfusion,
you'll have a long life for sure.

My cigarettes.

We're more or less related now.

See you later, cousin.

You must never do it again.

- I'm over that. Plus I know he's alive.
- Who?

- Pierre.
- Oh, him.

- I wonder how he felt.
- Do me a favor. Forget him!

I'm trying.

I keep telling myself,
"You must forget him!"

But that's also thinking about him.

I'm sure you'll scold me,

but before I say goodbye,

I'd like to see the room.

- Number 16?
- Yes.

Not much of a shrine.
It's a room like any other.

- No.
- Yes.

Still, if you really want
to, I can hardly refuse.

But you're making a mistake.

You see? Not very thrilling.

It's clean. That's
about all you can say.

Just like the first time.

I lay down here.

He kissed me. And when
he fired, it didn't hurt.

- Poor Pierre...
- There you are! Your things.

Hat, coat, purse. Did
I forget something?

That's all I possess.

You've youth and good
looks. That's something.

Being pretty is no help. See
how it complicated her life.

What will you do when you go away?

What will happen to her now?

It's no fun to be alone.

That's true, it isn't fun to be alone.

- I can't offer much...
- Good idea.

- What idea?
- Say it.

- Say what?
- Your idea's mine. Say it for me.

Amazing! He's always
stealing my decisions.

I've not much to offer you...

- You said that.
- Damn you!

If you want to stay here till something
comes along, you can help Jeanne.

She's overloaded, and
it's better than nothing.

I'll show you what to do. The
customers don't expect fancy service.

Do you like my idea?

Didn't I tell you? He
always steals my ideas.

Where in the world is she?

I'm excited.

- We're not going.
- What?

Go get a refund, we're not leaving.

Why? What's happened?

You know you shouldn't stay
here. Nazar?de may kill you.

We're not going!

- Have you any salami?
- Yes.

Give me a tomato salad then.

She's learned quickly. All
that going back and forth...

- Ren?e.
- Yes?

A bottle of water.

Did you see that?

With the bottle.

M. Edmond is so attentive with Ren?e.

What's he playing at?

I've never seen him
like that with a woman.

Did you enjoy your
lesson this morning?

I've made her take up
hairdressing, in case...

Better than the piano and not noisy.

Isn't my wife a poppet?
I'm a lucky man or what?

Shut up.

You'll make me blush.

Thank you, M. Edmond.

Did you see that?

Don't be so nosy. He's not
the only one after Ren?e.

- He has competition?
- Ask Kenel.

Kenel? You must be joking.

It was to be expected. He has no girl.

No girl! How do you know that?

A packet of Gauloises.

I've run out.

Go get six packs and a
box of Voltigeurs. Quick.

He won't believe she
was the suicide girl.

- She's a smasher.
- Just because she was shot.

You're a smasher too,
it's a question of taste.

If she beckoned to me,
I'd be at her heels.

You're all the same!

When push comes to
shove, you hit the run.

We might as well call the
Missing Persons Bureau.

- What brings you here now?
- A delivery to make to Lecouvreur.

Don't let that stop
you pouring me a drink.

- A string, please.
- It's you! I should have known.

That knot's to remind you of me?

- Do you still see him in prison?
- Yes, and afterwards.

Couldn't be bettered.

- I don't see how you got permission.
- We lived together.

He's right under her
skin, like a silver bullet.

Whether he shot me or I shot
myself, what difference does it make?

We wanted to die together, we
failed. You can't always win.

When I'm with a woman, I make love.

But everyone's unique.

You finished? Tell me, you finished?

- Who's asking?
- Because I'm about to start.

I'm talking to Ren?e, not you.

I can do without slime
in a conversation.

For my part, I don't care for lard.

You've been heaving far too long.

A loudmouth should only judge others

if he's been in the mill.

- You've got a nerve.
- Not here.

Get him out, then!

Why go out? He doesn't
go out with just anyone!

- Let's talk outside.
- No scenes here.

Mind your own business, M. Edmond.

That's right. Don't
wreak havoc in my bar.

Fine. To your good health.

Come to gawp at a bungling
murderer? Vicious curiosity.

- Pierre.
- It's funny.

No one calls me by my name now.

Yet, God knows how informal
these people are with me.

Most call me "swine" or "scumbag".

And I don't blame them.

Why did you come?

For us.

- What do you want?
- Nothing.

I was actually very apprehensive.

I had no faith in
myself. I kept thinking,

"When I see him there next to me,

"I may get over him instantly. "

I was afraid. Terribly
afraid of myself.

But I'm not afraid any
more. It's like before.

I didn't see myself
as a piece of shit.

We thought we were
brave, we were wrong.

You must despise me
for having let you down.

If it had been the other way round,

if I'd shot you and then myself,

I might have run at the last minute.

You've no idea how easy it
is to be killed by someone.

I can never talk to you like before.
Shame will always keep us apart.

But I've forgotten.

It takes two to forget.

No, no, no. You witnessed my
cowardice. We'll never be free.

- Look at me.
- I don't want pity. I'm a coward. Go away!

I don't blame you.

You want to hear the truth?

I had it all premeditated that night.

I'm a murderer.

Death didn't scare me, as you think.

Freedom did.

And that's why, when I saw the
sun rise like any other day,

I gave myself up to the police.

I wanted to kill you.
I wanted to kill you!

No. That's wrong. I was
there when the truth happened.

Go away! Get out of here!

We're not victim and
culprit. We're accomplices.

Accomplices. You want to make
me forget whose crime this is.

No, thank you. I don't
need your generosity.

My poor Pierre...

You're wasting your time on
me. It was all a big mistake.

You'll find someone else.

Occasionally, your scar
will remind you of me.

- That's horrible!
- Get out, or I'll get more horrible still.

Are you mad at me?

It's my specialty not to
bear a grudge, remember?

You don't take me seriously.

Yet, if I were serious,
you'd laugh at me.

- Make me laugh then.
- I've not eaten for three days.

- Not hungry?
- I can't stop thinking about you.

You must have heard
only lies about me.

I've had enough of Ginette.

That has to stop. Sleeping
with a pal's wife isn't my line.

- You're not being serious.
- I am.

Take me and I'll make a home for you.

- I'd end up like Ginette.
- Not at all.

Ginette knew it was only a fun ride.

With you, it's the real thing.
We'll live somewhere else.

I realized love's like money.

You put it by.

It only happens once in a
lifetime, and this is it for me.

No, you can't put love
by. It's not like that.

Believe me. But it comes
only once all right.

Ren?e, my sweetheart.

- Leave me alone.
- Ren?e, let me explain.

- Here's a snack.
- I haven't the heart to eat.

So what? Cry with your tear
ducts, eat with your mouth.

- Get your organs right.
- You're very kind.

Should I call you Mme
Edmond or Mlle Raymonde?

Depends on your point of view.

You're cheering up.

You know men.

Tell me why Ginette left.

I loved her like a mother,
paid her hairdressing lessons.

- It's a down phase.
- It didn't start yesterday.

- Sometimes it's long.
- It's ages since she and Kenel...

Last year, when I took my holiday,

we'd decided to go to Dieppe.

I'd arranged everything,
got the tickets myself...

I remember I was so
happy! More fool me!

I gave her the tickets like
flowers. What did she say?

"We're not going. "

- You knew it?
- It was a random guess.

Oh, dear.

You still think I've
got my eye on Ren?e?

- No!
- No yes? Or no no?

No no!

Look at me. Can't see
out of my left eye.

- It's like losing a limb.
- Are you ready?

- Yes!
- Yes yes? Or yes no?

Yes, crap. I'd say
more, but it's Sunday.

I can go alone to Varenne.

All this fuss over fishing! I
hunt every night but I don't swank.

Going to Varenne when
we should be in Toulon...

Why don't we go to Toulon?

You're so stubborn, you'll
come to a sticky end.

- So what?
- You were never fatalitarian.

- Fatalistic.
- The result is the same.

Why do you have a crush on her?

- Aren't we happy?
- No.

- Are you sure?
- Yes.

- Don't you like our life?
- Do you?

I have to, I got used to it.

Despite my black eye,
you're a good bloke.

We may quarrel, but we get along
fine when we hit the sheets.

I'm sick of it. I feel suffocated.

You get it? Suffocated.

In the sea air, you'd breathe better.

It'll smell fishy anywhere we go.

- Let's go to the colonies.
- With you?

Why not?

I need a change of atmosphere
and you are my atmosphere.

I've never been called
an atmosphere before.

I'm an atmosphere,
you're a weird village.

You claim to be what you aren't
and brag of what you've been.

Atmosphere? Atmosphere? Do
I look like an atmosphere?

Go on your own! Enjoy your
fishing and your atmosphere!

- What are you doing?
- Killing your bugs. You'll sleep better.

- With a blowtorch?
- That's what does it.

Bugs or no bugs, this
room's making me sick.

Now now, take it easy.

- That's why the neighbors complained.
- Because of my eye?

- Because of the noise.
- They'll stop complaining soon enough.

Hurry up, Ren?e.

You heard him. Hurry up.

- Going to the jail today?
- No, why?

It's Sunday, everybody
needs their own cinema.

I'll pass the cinema.

Leave my bed. It's no use making it.

- I'm leaving.
- Your bed?

No. Edmond.

- He'll be upset.
- You shouldn't have infected him.

I've infected M. Edmond?

You gave him your suicide bug.

- He'll recover.
- No, there's no cure for it.

Since you came,
Edmond's been brooding.

His language has changed.

Your death ruined his life.

He wasn't a thinker. Now
he's one and hates it.

What proves I infected him?

Everything. He takes
no pleasure in anything,

we're not going to
the seaside any more...

You're an unusual atmosphere.

Thanks, I'll have enough bait.

Two mineral waters.

- It's quiet here today.
- It's Sunday.

- No caf?-going on Sundays?
- Ours is a weekday trade.

- Cigarette?
- No, thanks. I never smoke.


Keep the change.

- Eight francs?
- You heard him.

- Thank you.
- Perhaps she doesn't accept tips.

- This is a hotel?
- Yes.

Could we rent a room if we wanted to?

- Is that the entrance to the hotel?
- Yes.

- What's the hotel called?
- Hotel du Nord.

- This is where she lives.
- Who?

- Raymonde.
- What a coincidence!

- You know her?
- A bit. She's well, is she?

- Very well, thank you.
- Still with Paulo?

- Paulo?
- Her friend.

We've no M. Paulo living here.

- What's her friend's name then?
- M. Edmond.

Isn't he tall with a moustache?

- Help me with my suitcases, Ren?e.
- Yes.

Oh my word! If it isn't Nazar?de!

Hello, Marcel.

- Oh, my!
- Quite a surprise, eh?

I was just thinking of you.

- Fancy a drink?
- No. A marc, please.

- We were talking about Paulo.
- Oh, yes?

They don't believe I
don't know any M. Paulo.

- She's never met him.
- Only Edmond?

What's become of Paulo then?

- How would I know?
- I'll bet she knows.

- Why would I lie?
- Because you respect us.

- Ask Ren?e, she'll tell you.
- Come this way.

- This Paulo, or M. Edmond, is a tall bloke?
- Yes.

- And he plays the guitar?
- No, he hates music.

Runs from fights and hates
the sight of blood, right?

On the contrary. He kills
all our rabbits and chickens.

His clothes are spotty and he
leaves cigarette ash everywhere?

M. Edmond couldn't be neater.

What's the conclusion?

Edmond's the complete
opposite of Paulo.

Of course. I was so disappointed
in Paulo I took his opposite.

Never mind. Goodbye.

If we run across Paulo...

You never know. We'll
give him your regards.

- Just don't give him my address.
- All right.


Don't try to understand.
This is beyond you.

I'll fetch your cases.

No. I'm not leaving any more.
I can also be capricious.

You don't really enjoy
going out with me.

Why do you say that?

I've never seen you with a woman.

I've never had the chance to.

I've always wanted to tell you...

I approve.

- You approve?
- Of your attitude to Pierre.

A friend of mine was arrested.

In a rash act, he stole a bicycle.

I always wrote to him in prison

and kept seeing him when he came out.

- Very good of you.
- And yet, I don't like cycling.

Hello, Fernand.

- I wanted to see you.
- Didn't you recognize me?

I didn't even look at you
when I saw you with a girl.

- I mustn't spoil your evening.
- Not at all.

Honestly, I'm very sleepy.
Thanks for your concern.

Don't worry about me.

- Someone mentioned me to you today.
- No.

Yes. Two men in the hotel.

- Indeed. Did Raymonde tell you?
- Yes.

- He mistook you for someone else.
- No.

Yes. They wanted a
guitarist called Paulo.

That's me.

- You?
- Yes, I was that man before.

- Before what?
- Before all the rest.

I must seem odd to you. We've
only exchanged empty phrases.

Today it's different.

You don't know it, but
we've shared experiences.

- It was I who found you that fateful evening.
- I knew it.

And I told your friend
to run. You knew that?

No. When they questioned you,
you said I was alone. Why?

Just a hunch.

I thought you might
prefer it that way.

- Thank you.
- Don't mention it.

They took you away

and later you came back.

The day I was meant to leave.

So I stayed on.

Don't say anything.

I've never felt shy before.

The bohemian who played the guitar,

who was careless and
hated the sight of blood.

That was me.

Today I'm called
Edmond, I was Paulo then.

But my real name's Robert.

I funked facing the police once too.

One day, to save my own skin,
I ratted on an accomplice.

I was let off, they got five years.

They've served the sentence
and they're after me now.

So I've become a different person.

I've changed identity.

I like to be clean and neat,
my tie is always pressed.

I hate music and the sight
of blood no longer affects me.

It's hard to slough yourself off.

But I wasn't supposed to
become either Edmond or Paulo.

And the proof is, Robert
is talking to you tonight.

You can listen to him. He's
not soiled, almost brand new.

That's all.

What I've told you may
not look much of a present,

but it cost me dear.

Thank you very much, M. Robert.

I imagined I'd confide
in you in the morning...

after our first night.

But I realize there will
be no first night for us.

Now it's as if we've had it already,

as I've given myself to you.

I'd like to give you something too,

to even things out,

but I've no secrets.

You've listened. That's enough.

It can't have been easy for you.

Happiness hasn't really come to you.

My past next to yours...

- My past is over and done with.
- Over?


Yet, somehow, I can't leave it behind.

I can't forget and start over.

It has nothing to do with Pierre.

It's only me. I can't give in.

I had such hopes. Such confidence
in myself. I lived for love.

You can't bring yourself
to stop believing in it.

You don't want to
change. That's foolish.

You need someone to
force you to get out.

Like at a cemetery or a theatre,

when they shout at you,

"Go away, we're closing up. "

Take me away with you. Let's go away.

Everything else has gone
wrong, but this won't.

Let's run off somewhere.

It'll be all right, now
I have no expectations.

From our unhappiness will spring...

A huge catastrophe.

Take me away. You have to go anyway.

Take me away.

It would be too good.

- Just got in?
- No, leaving.

- Up to Paris?
- No, down south.

- Beyond Marseille?
- Further down. One stop below.

There's nothing below Marseille.

Here, Madame. Try my sea
urchins. Try this one.

- A bit off.
- What?

- I've just opened it.
- It needed airing.

Here's fresh money, get some ice.

Why do you look at me all the time?

I don't want you out of my
sight. Haven't done this in ages.

Hands in my pocket,
not a worry, peaceful.

Someone steps on my feet, I smile.

- Are you happy?
- I feel I don't exist.

- It's pleasant.
- Our last walk in France.

- With you, I feel in Paris.
- Even now?

Rue de la Ga?t? here, Bobino
there, the Montparnasse theatre

and a bit further ahead, the
metro, Edgar Quinet Station.

Shall we have our shoes polished?

- Where are our cases?
- I took them to our cabin.

We'll sleep on board tonight.

Would you prefer a hotel?

Whether at a hotel or in the cabin...

Tomorrow, La Josyane will cast off.

Port Said is incredible,
I'll find work there.

No one will know me so
I won't mind working.

When you like someone,
working doesn't bother you.

We'll be far away.

- Do you like me?
- I swear.

- Do you love me?
- Obviously.

- Say it to my face.
- What?

- That you love me.
- I've told you.

- No.
- I said I liked you.

- It's not the same.
- Yes, it is.

- It's the same?
- That's what I said.

- Say it, then.
- That I like you?

- No, that you love me.
- I can't.

When you say that...

- Coward.
- What? You think I'm intimidated?

We won't go to Port Said.

I love you.

I must love you, if you
can make me say that.

- Do you love me too?
- I will, in Port Said.

- You won't love me here or in Paris?
- No more love in Paris.

Fair enough. What about Ch?tellerault?

- Don't know it.
- Nor Port Said either!

- I can imagine it. There we'll start afresh.
- Real life.

Quite a nice cabin.

But you can't really tell
till you're out at sea.

This time tomorrow, we'll be leaving.

You don't regret it?

No, as it was your
idea to go to Port Said.

- Won't you change your mind?
- No.

But I'm not sure I should
have listened to you.

We must go quickly. Believe me.

You'll see, it's nice in Port Said.

We'll be free out there.
It'll be wonderful.

- Out there...
- We'll be happy, dead to all but ourselves.

In two days, we'll be far
away and we'll never come back.

Think about it. The Hotel
du Nord, Trimault?s face,

we'll not see them again.

We'll never again hear
the sounds of the canal.

Why are you holding me so tight?

You're holding on to me like a
lifeline. Ren?e, can you hear me?

I'm sorry, I'm crazy.

What was the matter?

You were hanging on for grim death.

- It's over.
- How bizarre.

You kept saying we had to
go, but the more you talked,

the sadder you seemed to leave.

The more you wanted to convince me,

the less sure you became yourself.

You wanted to get away,

in spite of yourself.

You were quite an impressive sight.

It's over, I'm all right now.

All women have moments of despair.

A kind of down feeling.

Their own little whirlwinds.

It's funny. You're
a different man now.

You'll see, in Port Said,
there'll only be you and me.

The man you're thinking about...

I'm not thinking about him.

Would you go so far away if
you knew you could forget him?

You're thinking about him.

Your whole body thinks
about him. That brooch...

You say "Edmond" and think "Pierre".

I only wear the brooch
because of room 16.

This brooch reminds me he shot me.

I'm not angry with you.

That man must have
mattered to you once.

Here, take his brooch.

I'm just going to ask something.

Good morning, my little
queen. Not too tired?

Get to work or you'll be fired.

I miss you out there. You
should come to the lock.

- Who do you think I am?
- My little queen.

Your little queen knows the score.

I'm not after a miniature
Edmond. Go back to work.

My little queen.

- What's the time?
- Two o'clock.

- Disentangler.
- There.

- Dressing gown.
- There, my little queen.

- Slippers.
- There, my little queen.

Tell Ren?e she can
do the room at three.

Yes, my little queen.

How rude to barge in like
that. Who dragged you up?

- Out of here, jackass.
- Didn't I say get back to work?

I want to have a word
with this man in private.

Unfinished business.

What a killer...

Anyway, he's a good man.

I'm done with killer men.

They're afraid work will kill them.

I'm done sweating it
out to get their steak.

You're getting old.

- Growing up, that's all.
- I see.

- Edmond really disgusted you.
- Indeed.

- Is it true he left?
- Didn't I say so?

Ren?e double-crossed me. The tart!

He fell like a ripe plum.

Be frank. Wasn't Edmond?

- Yes, I lied. Edmond was Paulo all right.
- Now he's gone.

- He'll be back.
- How do you know?

I know him.

He left with Ren?e on a slow train.

She came back
yesterday. Express train.

He's not used to
losing parcels en route.

He'll come to claim his parcel back.

You think he'll come here?

Sure of it. If I were you,

I'd rent a pad here and keep watch.

When he comes, just
stoop to pick him up.

That I will.

What about that girl?
Any good tackling her?

- Leave her. Plus, she's gone out.
- Where is she?


My courage failed at the last moment.

La Josyane left without me.

How about him?

He must have gone on alone.

At first, I was sincere.
I believed in it.

I saw myself living in Port
Said, starting a new life.

I didn't go because I simply couldn't.

Something stronger than
me held me back. You.

Not much of a thing, it wasn't.

What difference does that make? I
tried to hate you, but I couldn't.

And what's more, I
understand you better now.

Yes. To persuade him to go
away, leaving everything,

I used the words you
did at the Hotel du Nord.

I realize that now.

I used your words to convince him.

But when I had to let it go,

when it was almost too late,

I was frightened too.

You see,

we've both jumped
ship once, we're quits.


You didn't wish him dead.

It was worse. I gave him hope.

In two days, you're
free. Where will you go?

I've held out and refused to stop
loving you. Maybe I'm selfish.

Pierre, I need you.

Do you think...

we could live together again?

- And be happy?
- I'm sure we can.

- Like before?
- Like before.

Do you feel any
remorse? Well, I don't.

I'm not sorry you ran away.

I'm not sorry I'm alive.

You wouldn't dare say you're
sorry you missed it. Say it!

Of course, we can be happy together.

Lecouvreur, my friend,
it's two o'clock.

Tell them to wrap it up.

Madame and I can't sleep.

If they don't stop their
racket, I'll move out.

A hotel with man-snatching
tarts, where you can't sleep!

Calm down, my little
queen. It's the 14th July.

I know, the Fall of the Bastille.

So what good was that?
There are Black Marias now.

Leave your past
behind, my little queen.

It's either the 14th July
or the bugs. I give up.

Now we'll do the "danse du tapis".

You're really leaving
us tonight, Ren?e?

- Are you angry?
- I just wish you weren't going with that boy.

- I'll come see you.
- That's different.

You've been so kind.

- What time do you meet?
- After the dance. I wouldn't let you down.

I understand.

No coming back to kill
yourself in room 16.

You say you're getting married.

Better a good wedding
than a bad suicide.

- What are you on about?
- 14th July talk. Right, Ren?e?

- Two beers and a soda.
- See? She agrees with me.

Don't say goodbye when you go.
Pretend you're going shopping.

Then we can imagine you're
coming back any time.

We enjoyed having you
around. We got used to it.

That's true. If I came down
tomorrow to find the bar gone,

I'd miss it.

And I'll miss you too.

Why didn't you say goodbye?

I wouldn't have kept
you. I deserved a goodbye.

- I wanted to say...
- Don't. I understand.

I've come back a long way.

Back from Port Said
not having been there.

How beautiful. There's
music for our reunion.

Don't worry, I bear no grudge.

I only want to say goodbye properly.

He's out, isn't he?

He's been freed. That's it, isn't it?

He left.

- Today.
- Have you seen him?

- Will you see him again?
- Later.

- After what?
- After the dance.

- Is he waiting for you?
- Yes.

He's lucky.

Thank you for giving me
three days of your life.

You must believe me,

I did want you to take me away.

I intended to go with you.

I'm sure you did.

We didn't get far, but at least
I traveled a bit. Let's forget it.

Don't go to your room.

- Why not?
- Two men are waiting.

- Oh, yes? Raymonde
told them who you were.

Oh, yes.

- Goodbye, Ren?e.
- Goodbye.

- I told you my name's Robert.
- Goodbye, Robert.

Those brats with their firecrackers...

The sun's rising.

It'll be a lovely day.

- Let's go, this is the end.
- Of what?

Of the Hotel du Nord.