Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
Original title: Du Rififi Chez Les Hommes
France, 1955. Pathe Consortium Cinema, IndusFilms, Societe Nouvelle Pathe Cinema, Primafilm. Screenplay by Jules Dassin, dialogue by Auguste Le Breton, in collaboration with Rene Wheeler, based on the novel Du Rififi Chez Les Hommes by Auguste Le Breton. Cinematography by Philippe Agostini. Produced by Rene Bezard, Henri Berard, Pierre Cabaud. Music by Georges Auric. Production Design by Alexandre Trauner. Costume Design by Rosine Delamare. Film Editing by Roger Dwyre. Podcast: My Criterions.
One of the best heist movies ever made, even director Jules Dassin wasn’t able to repeat it as effectively when he made another similarly-themed movie ten years later with Topkapi. Jean Servais leads a band of roughly assembled thieves who all conspire to pull off a huge jewelry heist. What really sells the whole thing is the fabulous centrepiece of the production, a near-twenty-minute sequence that is practically silent and shows the unfolding of the job step by step. Padding it out beautifully are the fascinating character interactions and the added joy of watching Magali Noël appear as a cabaret singer (and perform the title song).
The Criterion Collection: #115
Cannes Film Festival Award: Best Director (Jules Dassin)