The Night Heaven Fell

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The Night Heaven Fell (Les Bijoutiers du clair de lune)
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Roger Vadim
Written by Roger Vadim
Jacques Rémy
Peter Viertel (uncredited)
Based onThe Night Heaven Fell
1954 novel
by Albert Vidalie
Produced by Raoul Lévy
Starring Brigitte Bardot
Stephen Boyd
Alida Valli
Cinematography Armand Thirard
Edited by Victoria Mercanton
Music by Georges Auric
Iéna Productions
Distributed by Columbia Films S.A.
Release dates
16 April 1958 (France)
21 October 1958 (U.S.)
Running time
93 minutes
Countries France
Box office2,134,822 admissions (France) [1]
$1 million (US/Canada) [2]

The Night Heaven Fell (Les bijoutiers du clair de lune) is an Eastmancolor 1958 French-Italian film directed by Roger Vadim. Vadim had already acquired international fame with his daring debut And God Created Woman (1956). Like its predecessor, The Night Heaven Fell explored the exuberant sensuality of Brigitte Bardot, who was Vadim's wife at the time.



Set in rural Spain, Ursula (Brigitte Bardot), is a young girl who has just left a convent and has moved in with her aunt Florentine and her violent husband, the count Ribera (José Nieto). Ribera wants to see Lambert (Stephen Boyd), a young man from the village, dead. Ursula quickly falls in love with Lambert. In a confrontation between the two, Lambert kills Ribera in self-defense.

The reason for the conflict soon becomes clear to Ursula: he was having an affair with her aunt. However, when Florentine (Alida Valli) discovers her lover has no intention of making any commitment to her, she refuses to confirm Lambert's alibi to the police and forces him into becoming a fugitive. Ursula, always impulsive, runs off with him and together they seek a way to get him safely out of the country. While evading the police, the lovers take refuge in the gorge known as El Chorro.

Lambert contacts Florentine, who agrees to help them complete their escape. But at the rendezvous back in town, the police spot Florentine's car and become suspicious. A policeman spots Lambert up the street in the village. Against Lambert's protests, Ursula runs up the street towards him. After issuing warning shots, the policeman shoots several rounds up the street, mortally wounding Ursula in the back as she stands in front of Lambert, who is unhit. He holds her in a doorway, and as she dies, they declare their love for each other, just before she falls dead on the ground.



On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 20% based on 5 critics, with an average rating of 4.60/10. [3]

Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club said this about the restored version of the film: "The Night Heaven Fell still leaves much to be desired artistically, this new transfer is a crisp, vivid marvel that gives an interesting but tremendously flawed film better treatment than it probably deserves". [4]

The DVD version of the film was released on 19 September 2001. Rich Rosell of Digitally Obsessed, who reviewed it, gave it a "C+". [5]

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  1. Box office information for film at Box Office Story
  2. "Top Grossers of 1958". Variety. 7 January 1959. p. 48. Please note figures are for US and Canada only and are domestic rentals accruing to dsitributors as opposed to theatre gross
  3. "The Night Heaven Fell". Rotten Tomatoes . Fandango Media . Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  4. Rabin, Nathan (29 March 2002). "The Night Heaven Fell". The A.V. Club . The Onion . Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  5. Rosell, Rich. "The Night Heaven Fell (1957)" . Retrieved 8 July 2021.