Le Cercle Rouge (1970)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5

France/Italy, 1970.  Euro International Film, Les Films Corona, Selenia Cinematografica.  Screenplay by Jean-Pierre Melville.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

No one makes gangster films like Jean-Pierre Melville, and this enjoyable entry, while not up to the standard of Bob Le Flambeur, is still not to be missed. plays a cool thief who is released from prison the same day as a deranged murderer () and is unaware that he is sharing a ride with him when Volonte hides in his trunk. The two join up forces and enlist a former police officer to aid them in a jewel heist, while the policeman who was guarding Volonte tries to get a mob boss to help catch all three of them. A healthy blend of suspense, action and deliciously wry humour, this is a great example of the 1940s classics of the genre inspiring the masterpiece-makers of the later decades.

The Criterion Collection:  #218

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