With every sunrise we think something new is going to happen, something fresh. Then the sun goes to bed, and so do we. ~ Nelly
From director Marcel Carné, it's a story of a deserter who almost finds a haven, then all goes wrong.
The film starts slow, until the conflicts begin. Jean (Jean Gabin), a deserter, gets a lift from a truck-driver to Le Havre. He meets a sort of tramp (and a dog who follows Jean everywhere since), who leads him to a place belongs to a guy called Panama, who kindly gives Jean a place to rest and food to eat. In this place, Jean meets a beautiful girl, Nelly (Michèle Morgan), and falls in love with her. Nelly is an orphan who lives with her godfather Zabel (Michel Simon), a souvenir shop owner. A local thug, Lucien (Pierre Brasseur), courts her, but Nelly is looking for her missing lover, Maurice. In this mess, Jean arrives. He has been lucky so far: finding a new identity and gets a ship ticket to Venezuela; but his love for Nelly takes him back to the shop to say goodbye to her for the last time - in time to save her from Zabel, who has killed Maurice - and as he leaves her for the ship, Lucien, whom he has been humiliated twice, shoots him from behind.
I watched this on TV and the sound was bad. Michel Simon's voice was croaked and I agreed when Jean Gabin said to him after Zabel asked Jean to kill Lucien: 'Your voice is nasty. It sounds like walking in muck with old sandals.'