By continuing to use this website, you agree to the use of cookies in order to offer you content and services that are tailored to your interests.

[Find out more][OK]
Four Nights of a Dreamer

Four Nights of a Dreamer

A Feature film by Robert Bresson

Produced by Albina Productions

Release in France : 25/01/1972

  • Contents

Actors (6)

Production and distribution (4)

Executive Producer :

Albina Productions

Film exports/foreign sales :

Les Films sans Frontières

Foreign production company :

I Film Dell'Orso

French distribution :

Les Films Imperia

TV Broadcasts: Cumulative total

TV broadcasts: details by country


The 'dreamer' is Jacques, a young painter, who by chance runs into Marthe as she's contemplating suicide on the Pont-Neuf in Paris. They talk, and agree to see each other again the next night. Gradually, he discovers that her lover promised to meet her on the bridge that night, and he failed to turn up. Over the next couple of nights, Jacques falls in love with her - but on the fourth night her original lover returns...

Source : IMDb.


The film features cinematography characteristic of Robert Bresson. Shots are carefully choreographed and highly stylized, from the first scene in the movie when Jacques inexplicably travels to the countryside to turn somersaults in a field. Scenes of Jacques painting feature tight shots, showing just his hand, the paintbrush, characteristic and the thick line of paint. The scene in which Marthe looks at herself is especially striking. Bresson chooses not show her entire body but rather bits and segments, first her foot, then a buttock, then breasts. The film never declares what Marthe thinks of her body or even why she looks at herself. She may be admiring herself, hating herself, or conducting an anatomy lesson.

There is a dream-like quality to the film, especially to the evening scenes. Jacques and Marthe only see one another in the four evenings of their acquaintance. On the last evening, a pleasure boat travels along the River Seine. A band plays a song on the boat, which enchants Marthe and Jacques who lean against the parapet to listen. Bresson cuts to tight shots of the band, of the musicians strumming their instruments, and of the singer's face. The song is eerie and beautiful, the singer black, young, very attractive, and with the voice of angel. The film shows the entire song, the whole time with the camera focused on the musicians, not showing reaction shots of Jacques and Marthe. This contributes to the dreamy nature of the movie, as Marthe and Jacques are on the bridge, far from the boat, yet the film shows us the band from the point of view of a passenger on the boat or even of the musicians themselves.

The film does not explain why Marthe chooses her old lover in the end and not Jacques. It is not entirely clear whether Jacques is brokenhearted when Marthe leaves him.

Source : Wikipedia.

Full credits (10)

Assistant directors :

Mylène Van Der Mersch, André Bitoun, Munni Kabir, Jean-Pierre Ghys

Producer :

Albina du Boisrouvray

Directors of Photography :

Pierre Lhomme, Ghislain Cloquet

Production Manager :

Georges Casati

Music Composer :

Michel Magne

Author of original work :

Fiodor Dostoïevski

Screenwriter :

Robert Bresson

Sound Recordist :

Roger Letellier

Editor :

Raymond Lamy

Production Designer :

Pierre Charbonnier

Technical details

Feature film

Genres :


Sub-genre :

Psychological drama

Themes :

Love, Wandering

Production language :


Coproducer countries :

France, Italy

Original French-language productions :


Nationality :

Majority French (France, Italy)

Production year :


French release :


Runtime :

1 h 27 min

Current status :


Visa number :


Visa issue date :


Approval :


Production formats :


Color type :


Audio format :


Posters (1)


Festival Selections

Berlin International Film Festival - 1971

Berlin International Film Festival (Germany, 1971)


Official Competition