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Paris After Dark

Paris After Dark(1943)

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Dr. Andre Marbel and his nurse, Yvonne Blanchard, are the secret leaders of a Parisian resistance group known as the Fighting French Committee. They work in a clinic attached to the large Beaumont Works factory, which used to manufacture cars but now produces military machinery for the occupying German Army. Their primary contacts are Collette, a café owner, and Max and Paul, who print anti-German leaflets on a small press hidden in Collette's cellar. One day, Yvonne and her mother, father Lucien and younger brother George are astonished by the return of Jean, Yvonne's husband, who has been incarcerated in a German prison camp for two-and-a-half years. Jean, a former factory worker and soldier, is seriously ill, but does not reveal the severity of his case to Yvonne. The family is distraught by the change in Jean, for he has become a beaten man, terrified of the Germans and no longer possessing the confidence he had before his imprisonment. Yvonne decides to keep her resistance work secret from Jean, and as the days pass, he misinterprets her relationship with Marbel. A crisis arises when Marbel learns from Col. Pirosh, the leader of the local German forces, that Jean and other sick prisoners were released as an exchange for the five hundred Frenchmen who the army intends to send to Germany as laborers. When Marbel holds an emergency meeting to discuss the situation, Jean follows Yvonne to his home and assumes that she is having an affair with him. George, who is to be sent to Germany, is infuriated by Jean's defeatist attitude and decides to run away and join Charles de Gaulle's fighting forces. Despondent over his family's seeming rejection, Jean goes to the café, where he tells Michel the barber of George's plans. Michel informs Pirosh, who orders George and his friends apprehended. Later, the young men, who have been badly beaten, are taken to a demonstration at the factory, where the workers are celebrating the Allied landing at Algiers. When George urges his friends to keep fighting, Pirosh shoots and kills him, and Yvonne, who is watching from a clinic window, shoots Pirosh. The colonel is only wounded, however, and Marbel is forced to operate on him in order to save the fifty hostages taken by the Germans in reprisal. Meanwhile, Jean realizes that Michel betrayed George and strangles him, after which Collette tells him the truth about Yvonne and Marbel's involvement with the resistance. Jean then finds Yvonne and, after apologizing for his earlier accusations, comforts her as she grieves for her brother. He takes the pistol with which she shot Pirosh, who has recovered from the surgery and ordered that the hostages be killed if the sniper does not surrender. Yvonne intends to give herself up and goes to Marbel's house, where she learns that Jean has already turned himself in. Yvonne is crushed, but Marbel tells her that Jean is terminally ill and wishes for her to fight on while he makes the only sacrifice for the resistance that he can. Yvonne then makes a shortwave radio broadcast inciting her countrymen to continue their struggle, and in Pirosh's office, Jean listens as she declares her undying love for him.