Melvin Van Peebles

The Story of a Three Day Pass

The Story of a Three Day Pass

Melvin Van Peebles’s edgy, angsty, romantic first feature could never have been made in America. Unable to break into segregated Hollywood, Van Peebles decamped to France, taught himself the language, and wrote a number of books in French, one of which, La permission, would become the stylistically innovative The Story of a Three Day Pass. Turner (Harry Baird), an African American soldier stationed in France, is granted a promotion and a three-day leave from base by his casually racist commanding officer and heads to Paris, where he finds whirlwind romance with a white woman (Nicole Berger)—but what happens to their love when his furlough is over? Channeling the brash exuberance of the French New Wave, Van Peebles creates an exploration of the psychology of an interracial relationship as well as a commentary on France’s contradictory attitudes about race that is playful, sarcastic, and stingingly subversive by turns, and that laid the foundation for the scorched-earth cinematic revolution he would let loose just a few years later.

Film Info

  • United States
  • 1967
  • 86 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.66:1
  • English, French
  • Spine #1093

Available In

Collector's Set

Melvin Van Peebles: Essential Films

Melvin Van Peebles: Essential Films

Blu-ray Box Set

5 Discs


The Story of a Three Day Pass
Harry Baird
Nicole Berger
Hal Brav
Christian Marin
Hotel clerk
Pierre Doris
Tria French
Madame Abernathy
Melvin Van Peebles
Screenplay and dialogue by
Melvin Van Peebles
Based on the novel La permission by
Melvin Van Peebles
Executive producer
Gaston Doha
Music by
Melvin Van Peebles
Mickey Baker
Director of photography
Michel Kelber
Technical consultant
Georges Lussan
Liliane Korb
Sound engineer
Gerard Brisseau
Production manager
Gilbert Marion
Aida Carange