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After five years in prison, Tony le Stéphanois meets his dearest friends Jo and the Italian Mario Ferrati and they invite Tony to steal a couple of jewels from the show-window of the famous jewelry Mappin & Webb Ltd, but he declines. Tony finds his former girlfriend Mado, who became the lover of the gangster owner of the night-club L' Âge d' Or Louis Grutter, and he humiliates her, beating on her back for being unfaithful. Then he calls Jo and Mario and proposes a burglary of the safe of the jewelry. They invite the Italian specialist in safes and elegant wolf Cesar to join their team and they plot a perfect heist. They are successful in their plan, but the Don Juan Cesar makes things go wrong when he gives a valuable ring to his mistress. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The much imitated heist sequence is over 32 minutes long and contains not a single line of dialogue or music. The production crew and composer Georges Auric thought it would be a disaster to have such a long sequence sans dialogue. Auric insisted that he allow him to write a grand piece of music for the scene and he eventually did on his own. Later Dassin played the part for Auric twice, once with the score, once without. Auric turned to him and admitted, "Without the music". See more »
When Jo climbs down into Mappin & Webb, he is the fourth and final member of the gang. Yet you can see another pair of legs still in the room above. See more »
[to Tony about Cesar]
For a job with you he'll come. Cesar! There's not a safe that can resist Cesar and not a woman that Cesar can resist.
See more »
Rififi deservedly gets a lot of mention for the famous heist scene, and, indeed, that scene deserves all the credit it gets. It's a masterful piece of suspense, character interaction and photography. But Rififi isn't just this one scene - every scene in the film is as masterfully put together, and as a whole, the film is not only taught with suspense, plot and character, but an adroitly told moral tale that set the scene for film noire for years to come.
Cinematically and technically, the heist sequence may be the most impressive scene of the film, but for me, it's the final scene that holds the most power - Tony le Stéphanois's hallucinogenic drive towards redemption.
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