2 items from 2014
(Claude Sautet, 1960; BFI, 12)
Le roman policier and le film policier (now widely known by the reverse slang or verlan term "polar") have been staples of French popular culture for a century. Its soundtrack crackling with underworld argot, its air thick with smoke from Gauloises, its morality pulsating with romantic cynicism, the genre's golden age in the cinema was roughly between 1955 and the mid-70s. That's from the release of Rififi (the 1955 gangster movie directed by blacklisted American exile Jules Dassin, a movie much indebted to John Huston's 1950 The Asphalt Jungle) to the death in 1973 of Jean-Pierre Melville, the Americanophile cineaste and creator of definitive gangster flicks. These two decades encompass the classic polars of Jacques Becker, the best films of Lino Ventura (the French Bogart), the nouvelle vague (informally launched by a Louis Malle policier, Lift to the Scaffold, starring Ventura), and Godard's subversion of the genre in Breathless. »
- Philip French
Classe Tous Risques, 1960.
Directed by Claude Sautet.
On the run with two small children, how long can criminal Abel Davos outrun those in pursuit and his destiny?
The same year cinema was left Breathless by Jean-Luc Godard's revolutionary tour de force, its star Jean-Paul Belmondo found himself yet again on the wrong side of the law in Claude Sautet's Classe Tous Risques; this time swapping the pursuit of Jean Seberg for Sandra Milo.
Sautet’s Classe Tous Risques' ageing protagonist features shades of Jean Gabin and Roger Duchesne in Jacque Becker's Pas au Grisbi and Jean-Pierre Melville’s Bob le Flambeur - two seminal French gangster films of the 1950s.
- Gary Collinson
2 items from 2014
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