“Shooting a movie is like a stagecoach trip. At first you hope for a nice ride. Then you just hope to reach your destination.”Day for Night
, known originally in French as La Nuit Américaine
, is a 1973 film by French New Wave director François Truffaut
, dealing with the trials and tribulations of making a film named Meet Pamela
, about a woman who has an affair with his father-in-law. However, every possible complication manages to appear, putting the film in jeopardy.
For the filming technique, see Hollywood Darkness
The film provides examples of:
- Actor Existence Failure: In-universe example: Alexandre.
- Art Shift: Ferrand’s dreams of when he was a young boy are in B&W.
- Author Appeal: In one scene, Ferrand opens a box fill with books about directors such as Hitchcock, Rossellini, Bergman, Buñuel, Godard, Dreyer, Bresson and Lubitsch.
- The Cameo: Writer Graham Greene plays one of the insurance company representatives.
- Cue Card
- Cute Kitten
- Directed by Cast Member
- Hide Your Pregnancy: a scene where Janelle, the woman who is the secretary of the Father-in-law, gets out of a pool to take a letter for him. Then the crew discover she's just barely pregnant, and by the time she comes back in six weeks for the main part of her scenes, she will be obviously several months pregnant. They have to figure out a way to cover the issue, but they can't simply have her seen as pregnant as it will complicate the story, the audience will think her boss knocked her up.
- Man Child: Alphonse.
- May-December Romance: Julie and her husband, the doctor.
- Meganekko: Joelle.
- Muse Abuse: As soon as Julie ends opening herself to Ferrand about her problems, he has already incorporated her turmoil in the script.
- Mythology Gag: To lots of other Truffaut movies:
- Alphonse and Julie have a conversation by shouting across at each other from open windows, very similar to a famous shot from Jules Et Jim.
- Jean-Pierre Leaud's work in the Antoine Doinel cycle is constantly slyly hinted at. One of the montages has him peeking over and folding a newspaper, a reference to the private detective scenes in Stolen Kisses. Alphonse, Leaud's character, takes another acting job in which his character will fall in love with a Japanese woman, just like in Bed and Board. Add both of these up and throw in a comment about Alphonse's rough childhood and you've got a very, very subtexty connection to The 400 Blows
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech
- Shout Out: To The Rules Of The Game, the Renoir film which inspired Day for Night, which gets title-dropped and quoted outright.
- Serious Business: One of the central themes is the fact that for the main characters, the movies they make are more important than life itself.
- Straight Gay: Alexandre.
- Title Drop: Two for one! It's in a scene where Ferrand (who only speaks French) speaks to the stunt double (who only speaks English) through Julie. Ferrand drops the term "Nuit Americaine," which Julie translates into "Day for Night."
- Troubled Production: In-universe example.
- Unknown Character: After Alexandre dies, the film has to stop production until they find out how the insurance company will cover the accident. The insurance adjuster shows up and explains they can handle the cost of doing a few days of reshooting. What Truffaut didn't know was that the insurance adjuster (who is uncredited in the film) was the famous author Graham Greene. Greene was delighted to have the chance to actually appear in a film with Truffaut, whose work he admired, but Truffaut was disappointed that he didn't find out until later, he admired Greene's work too.
- Written-In Infirmity: In-universe example. One of the actresses failed to mention her pregnancy when signed to the film, and since with time it will become more pronounced, they decide to incorporate it in the movie.
- Artistic License - Film Production: Thankfully averted.