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Max, an old gangster, and his buddy Riton have got away with 50-million francs in gold bars, who think they ought to retire now. But Riton's girl-friend is tired of him, and has a new protector, Angelo, who is the boss of a rival gang. Through her, Angelo learns about his rival's "grisbi" (loot) and plots to get it. So he kidnaps Max's partner. Max asks some of his friends for help but then gets the message he can exchange the money for his partner. Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <email@example.com>
When the submachine guns are removed from the wine box, they are Sten Submachine guns. When they are removed from the car after the ambush they are Sten Guns. When they are finally shot at the retreating gangsters, they have become two different models of Thompson Submachine guns, an early civilian model of a Thompson and a military model (M1 or M1A1) of a Thompson. See more »
That's the trouble with young people - they're so doggone young!
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Jacques Becker 1954 "Touchez pas au grisbi" is a delight to watch. M. Becker was an artist that knew what to give his fans, as he clearly shows in this masterful account about the gangsters operating in Paris during the fifties. Becker and his cinematographer, Pierre Montazel, brought the cameras to the streets as we are taken to savor that underworld they operated from. The jazzy score by Jean Wiener works well in the film. The film shows us the bygone Paris of that period, beautifully photographed by M. Montazel in all its splendor.
At the center of it all is Max, the older gangster who suddenly begins feeling the toll of his years living dangerously and is contemplating retirement after he, and his partner, Riton, get rid of the gold bars they have stolen from a shipment at Orly airport. Max and Riton are seen at the beginning of the film dining at Chez Bouche with two younger women, Josy and Lola, who are chorus girls in the night club that seems to be the venue where these characters like to frequent.
Things get complicated when Josie tells the newly arrived Angelo about what Max and Riton have and the trouble starts as he wants to get to the stolen goods for his own benefit. Thus begins a conflict between two different factions of the underground that will end badly. Max's plans for retirement with the proceeds of the sale of the stolen gold will have to wait.
The best thing about the film is the uncanny way M. Becker and his collaborators reproduce that era for us. The world of the night clubs, restaurants, watering places, apartments, and other places where these characters move, are faithfully recreated for our pleasure in the movie. This film noir influenced a lot of other movies that came after, as Becker's influence inspired future movie makers.
Jean Gabin, probably the best French actor of all times makes us like his Max, even though we realize he is a criminal. M. Gabin is the whole reason for taking a look at this film that he dominates at all times. Rene Dary, is seen as Max's partner in crime, Riton. Jeanne Moreau in one of her earlier films shows why she went to be one of the stars of the French cinema. Her Josie is excellent. Also in the cast, the fabulous Lino Ventura who plays Angelo. Denise Clair plays Mme. Bouche and Dora Doll is Lola.
"Touchez pas au grisbi" will not disappoint Becker's fans.
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