Enterprise Pictures, the production company, used a favorite Hollywood ploy -- they told Bergman they had Boyer, they told Boyer they had Bergman; neither could refuse, so Enterprise got both. For the third star there was Charles Laughton in the deliciously disgusting part of a Gestapo official.
The story takes place in 1938 Paris. Boyer plays Ravic, a surgeon and displaced refugee from the Nazis who illegally practices his profession while constantly evading deportation.
But when Ravic meets Joan Madou, (Bergman) a drifter and cafe singer, he is drawn into a bittersweet love affair with her. She offers him new hope...until he is apprehended by the French police and deported. In despair, and believing Ravic will never return, Joan takes up with a rich playboy.
The situation goes from bad to worse when Ravic does return after several months - and Joan is torn between her love for him and her craving for the luxurious lifestyle her new lover has made possible.
Charles Laughton called the film "a tragedy relieved by heavy doses of gloom and good honest tedium." Well, it isn't that bad - several scenes between Boyer and Bergman are very good indeed - but given the cast and the story's origin, it is disappointing in that it does not reach its potential.
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