Le Samouraï (1967)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB

France/Italy, 1967.  Compagnie Industrielle et Commerciale Cinématographique, Fida Cinematografica, Filmel, T.C. Productions.  Screenplay by Jean-Pierre Melville, , based on the novel The Ronin by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Film Editing by , .  Podcast: My Criterions.  

This Jean-Pierre Melville masterpiece displays why  has been such an iconic figure in the cinema since he first burst forth as a matinee idol. He plays a lone wolf gun-for-hire who shoots a nightclub owner on assignment and is picked up by the police as a suspect for it. Having already planted an ironclad alibi with a sympathetic female (, at that point Alain’s wife), he is surprised to find that the club’s gorgeous pianist () is willing to help exonerate him despite the fact that she knows better. His desire to get to know this mysterious angel and get revenge on those who once hired him and now want to kill him is played against the cat-and-mouse game initiated when the intelligent head of police (, solid as ever) reveals that he doesn’t believe Delon’s alibi one bit. Gorgeous, muted colours shot to perfection by the great Henri Decae and scintillating direction by the masterful Melville make for one of the most impressive and stylish thrillers ever made. This movie pretty much runs on cool for fuel.

The Criterion Collection:  #306

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s