Hotel Du Nord Review

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Pierre (Jean Pierre Aumont) and Renee (Annabella) take a room at the Hotel du Nord, planning to fulfil a suicide pact. Pierre shoots Renee, wounding her, but in a moment of cowardice, runs away. Renee is rescued by Edmond, and later takes a job at the hotel. Edmond falls for Renee, but she secretly longs for Pierre.


When the iconic Arletty died in 1992, her funeral cortege halted in homage at the Hôtel Du Nord, scene of one of her famed Parisienne roles. This isn’t up there with director Marcel Carné’s later masterpieces Le Jour Se Lève and Les Enfants Du Paradis, but it is steeped in fatalistic allure. Despairing lovers Annabella and Jean-Pierre Aumont check in to commit suicide but fail to die, falling into the orbit of gangster-in-hiding Louis Jouvet and his tough tart Arletty for a tale of the hopeful and the hopeless. It’s a good example of the brooding melodrama European émigré directors would later bring to Hollywood.

A fine early example of what would come to be recognised as 'typically French' melodrama, featuring a good, old fashioned romantic triangle.