Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
France, 1956. Organisation Générale Cinématographique, Play Art, Productions Cyme, Studios Jenner. Adaptation by Auguste Le Breton, Jean-Pierre Melville, Dialogue by Auguste Le Breton. Cinematography by Maurice Blettery, Henri Decae. Produced by Jean-Pierre Melville, Serge Silberman. Music by Eddie Barclay, Jo Boyer. Production Design by Claude Bouxin. Costume Design by Ted Lapidus. Film Editing by Monique Bonnot.
Everything you love most about gangster films is epitomized in Jean-Pierre Melville’s classic film noir. Retired gangster Bob (Roger Duchesne) is living a peaceful life after being released from the slammer. Hooking up with some old friends, he finds out about a possible casino scheme that could really go in his favour. Complicating matters is a young street girl he befriends and tries to save from the underworld leeches that want to take advantage of her. It’s a thriller of subtle proportions, one concerned more with its atmospheric settings than any thrilling suspense sequences (unlike Rififi, made the same year and penned by Bob‘s author Auguste Le Breton). The beautiful, silvery sheen of this seminal classic should definitely make a favourable impress. Remade in 2002 by Neil Jordan as The Good Thief.
The Criterion Collection: #150