"...the principal source for "Port of Shadows" is the classic French film by Marcel Carne, "Le Quai des Brumes" ("Port of Shadows;" 1938). The film concerns a love affair between a french navy deserter ... and a shopkeeper ... whom he meets at a squalid tavern near the port. Among the habitués of the bar is an artist who commits suicide by drowning himself in the sea. The transferral of the artist's clothes and passport to [the deserter's] character is the metaphoric transformation of artist to outsider, in this case an A.W.O.L. sailor. The love affair between the sailor and the shopkeeper inspires envy in another would-be lover, a mobster, who shoots the artist/deserter dead in the street at the end of the film. [The deserter's] character was one to whom Westermann could relate both personally and philosophically. Like Westermann's, the character's desire for independence set off a series of fateful events, resulting in his becoming an outsider and assuming the role of artist."
Adrian & Born, See America First: The Prints of H.C. Westermann, at 66