6 items from 2011
Only a few days after he’s been released from prison, Tony Le Stephanois (Jean Servais) is reunited with his former partners in crime Jo (Carl Möhner) and Mario (Robert Manuel). They want him to do one more job at a Parisian jeweler’s shop, which if successful means they can retire. Tony declines to get involved again in the business. Tony meets up with his old girlfriend Mado (Marie Sabouret) who has been seeing a gangster named Pierre Grutter (Marcel Lupovici). Enraged by this relationship, Tony savagely beats Mado for being involved with Grutter.
Tony then agrees to do the job, but not because he wants the money. He wants to hit he jeweler’s safe instead, not the outside window. We are then introduced to Cesar (Perlo Vita, better known as the director Jules Dassin), a master safe cracker from Milan and a colleague of Mario’s. They then plan the heist meticulously, »
- James McCormick
Yves Allégret is part of that generation of French filmmakers it's no longer safe to ignore, despite their dismissal by Cahiers du Cinema. Continuing the melancholy strains of poetic realism into the post-war environment, Allegret creates, in his best work, a pervasive feeling of despair that's redeemed by a certain romanticism. In other words, he charts the terrain of depression without actually being depressing.
Une si Jolie Petite Plage (Such a Pretty Little Beach, 1949) stars Gérard Philipe as a young man somewhat lethargically on the run after killing the wealthy older chanteuse who had been keeping him (the film is oddly uninterested in the motives that led to this murder, and nobody except the police seem to think any the less of him for it. Curious and slightly sinister).
For his hideout, Philipe chooses, with fatalistic perversity, the seaside hotel where he first met his eventual victim, where he simply checks in and awaits developments, »
As featured in our Paris city guide
Penned by poet Jacques Prévert and featuring the enigmatic Arletty, dashing Pierre Brasseur and melancholic Jean-Louis Barrault, Les Enfants du Paradis takes place in Paris in the 1840s and tells the story of the contrarian love of Garance and Baptiste. One key scene takes place in the boulevard du Temple, known at the time as boulevard du Crime. "You smiled at me! Don't deny it, you smiled at me. Ah, life's beautiful and so are you. And now, I shall never leave your side. Where are we going? What! We've only been together for two minutes and already you want to leave me. When will I see you again? »
- Agnès Poirier
Jules Dassin's Rififi:Tony le Stephanois (Jean Servais), a master thief fresh out of jail, wearing a harried look and suffering ill health he refuses to be involved with crime, until he finds his girlfriend shacked up with a rival gangster. With little reason to keep living he plans a final job. Tony sets about finding his crew and meticulously planning the job; a robbery of the jewellery store Mappin & Webb. Rififi revolves around the central heist, famed for its finite detail and incredible tension, but the drama does not end at the heist like so many other crime films. Dassin's film is a humanist tale that hinges on the loyalty among thieves and draws on the fatalistic, doom laden lives common to crooks and »
The Woman with a Hundred Heads (1968) is a twenty-minute short directed by Eric Duvivier, nephew of the more famous Julien. It's based, closely, on one of Max Ernst's books, a surrealist text joined with surrealist collage prints where the words and images never quite hook up in a way the rational mind can grasp. To turn this abstract work into a film, Duvivier stages a series of tableaux, reproducing the artist's discordant juxtapositions via elaborate production design or double exposures, as Jean Servais intones the prose.
I want to print every image from this film on a T-shirt! And then I want to wear them all at once, and, by ruppling my powerful chest muscles in an Incredibly Hulky fashion, cause them to shred and disintegrate, starting with the outer layers, since they will be the most over-stretched.
In this manner will I cause an animated flickbook to appear on my chest, »
Yesterday saw the release of The Town on Blu-Ray – a thriller that sees a group of Charlestown thieves rob a bank and take the manager hostage… a typical heist film that combines action and suspense in abundance. Films about robbers have been a staple of cinema for nearly 100 years, in fact the gangster film was an early success genre in Hollywood during the days of Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney.
Although the basic heist film narrative has proved to be popular worldwide, it has particularly flourished in the UK and France in particular, with a number of notable productions coming out of these countries. Below are ten heist films that combine the best elements of this sub genre, as we pit the U.S., U.K. and France against each other in a quest to find the best heist film out there!
- Stuart Cummins
6 items from 2011
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