Amid a semi-documentary portrait of New York and its people, Jean Dexter, an attractive blonde model, is murdered in her apartment. Homicide detectives Dan Muldoon and Jimmy Halloran ... See full summary »
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
I've watched many film noirs in my day, but this would be one of the few French noirs that I've seen. In some senses, it's like most other film noirs: you have tough guys ("rififi" meaning tough guy), capers, and things going bad. There are no femme fatals in this one though.
So why does this film stand out? Why in the world would I watch this over any other of the hundreds of film noirs that were made in the world? Well, for the first half hour of the film, I couldn't figure it out either. In fact, it was kind of mundane. And then came the jewel heist. This is a stunner--for almost half an hour, there is not a word of dialogue and minimal sound effects. What's more, the tension gets thicker and thicker despite the silence.
The rest of the movie goes forward in a more typical fashion, but the caper itself is pretty impressive. The rest of the story is fine, a far as film noirs go. It doesn't help to elevate the film a lot, but the middle section makes the film worth watching.
It's good overall, and exceptional in the middle. 7/10.
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