One of the reasons the French so readily accepted the American film noir of the 1940s is because they already had it in the 1930s, and this crime drama is proof of that. Director Marcel Carné ("Children of Paradise") and writer Jacques Prévert successfully collaborated eight times in their career. Port of Shadows, as it is also known by, is based on the novel by Pierre MacOrlan. Producer Gregor Rabinovitch bought the rights to the story from the Nazi government, as propaganda minister Josef Goebbels changed his mind about presenting such a fatalistic film in the war tension year of 1938. Carné had to fight with the producer to keep the downbeat novel intact, and by winning the argument he was proven right as this became a critically acclaimed work that boosted Jean Gabin (who has been compared to both Humphrey Bogart and Spencer Tracy) onto the world stage as a recognizable international star.