Day for Night (1973) [French]

a.k.a.: La Nuit Américaine

In this movie-within-a-movie, Jacqueline plays "Julie Baker", an actress who has the lead role of `Pamela' in "Meet Pamela" ("Je Vous Presente Pamela"). Jacqueline puts her fluent French to good use. You can hear her own voice in the French (subtitled) version, or in English in the dubbed version. The character "Julie Baker" had suffered a nervous breakdown the year before, and worries about a possible relapse are one of the many difficulties the film's director must deal with. The story of "Meet Pamela" is that of a newlywed woman (`Pamela') meeting her father-in-law for the first time, and falling in love with him (and he with her). François Truffaut both directed and played the director.

Jacqueline almost missed out on the part, because her agent hadn't shown her the script. It was only a year later, when she was in Paris and Truffaut phoned her, that she learned he wanted her for his movie. Because of the small budget for the film, Truffaut asked Jacqueline to bring along her own clothes to serve as her wardrobe. She felt her usual clothes ("long flowery dresses") weren't right for the movie, so she went out and bought three suits at Missoni.

Jacqueline said: We got into incredible muddles. François said "Cut" and you didn't know if he meant "Cut" because he wanted to cut or if he was saying "Cut" because his character was saying "Cut". [Hello!, #249, 1993.]

The film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film; Truffaut was nominated for Best Director, and the script (which he co-wrote) was nominated for Best Original Screenplay.

The title refers to the process of filming in daylight what is supposed to be a night scene. French filmmakers call this "La Nuit Américaine" ("American Night"); Americans call it "Day for Night".

"Day for Night" is available on video; I believe there are both dubbed and subtitled versions.

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Still from Day for Night