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Rififi (1955) More at IMDbPro »Du rififi chez les hommes (original title)

2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2006

10 items from 2014

‘Night and the City’ sees a pre-Rififi Jules Dassin already at the top of his game

6 June 2014 12:00 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Night and the City

Written by Joe Eisinger

Directed by Jules Dassin

United Kingdom, 1950

In the heart of the London night Harry Fabian (Richard Widmark) runs wild in the streets and alleyways of this most famous of English cities. Harry, a con artist, owes someone a hefty sum and his only recourse is to plead his lover Mary Bristol (Gene Tierney) to lend him some pounds to call off the hounds. Such is the life the protagonist has led for some years now, much to Mary’s consternation and chagrin. What once was a happy companionship has turned more more strenuous. A get rich scheme here, another there but always the same result: Harry gets nowhere fast. His latest attempt to make it big arrives in form of an aging wrestler, Gregorius the Great (Stanislaus Zbyszko) whom he encounters by happenstance at a wrestling event a few nights later. The »

- Edgar Chaput

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A Naked Face in The Crowded City

8 April 2014 5:33 AM, PDT | | See recent CultureCatch news »

(Ed. note - Cc writer Ian Alterman writes about two of his favorite film classics.)

The Naked City

Two years after making The Naked City, director Jules Dassin would find himself on the Hollywood Blacklist, and move to Europe, never to return to the U.S.  His first film made in Europe, Rififi (1955), would become his most influential, beloved and, arguably, greatest film.  And there are already signs of the naturalist style used in Rififi in The Naked City, though the former is a classic (maybe the classic) heist film, while the latter is a film noir police procedural, complete with narration (which ends the movie with the famous line: “There are eight million stories in the naked city.  This is one of them.”)

Centered around the murder of a young model, and the police investigation that ensues, the film’s visual style was famously influenced by the work of the photographer, »

- Ian Alterman

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Classe tous risques DVD – Philip French on Claude Sautet's pitch-perfect directorial debut

22 March 2014 6:00 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

(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

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Thief and Rififi Criterion Collection Blu-ray Reviews

13 February 2014 12:22 AM, PST | | See recent news »

With the releases of Thief and Rififi, The Criterion Collection has released two classics of the crime/film noir genre.  Where Jules Dassin’s Rififi represents a perfect distillation of the classic noir model, Michael Mann’s Thief takes those tropes into the modern era.  My review of the Blu-rays of Rififi and Thief follows after the jump. In Rififi, the film starts as Tony le Stéphanois (Jean Servais) gets out of prison and is immediately invited by his old friend Jo le Suedois (Carl Möhner) to go on another heist.  He declines as he thinks the score is too small, and then goes to check on his former girlfriend, who’s become a kept woman.  She’s working for Pierre Grutter (Marcel Lupovici), who takes an immediate dislike to Tony.  But his encounter with his former flame is enough for Tony to reconsider the heist, but he wants a bigger score, »

- Andre Dellamorte

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Interview: Michael Mann Talks Making 'Thief,' The Importance Of Authenticity & What's Coming In His Next Film

6 February 2014 9:01 AM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

From the opening moments of “Thief”—which features a clockwork heist sequence that would make “Rififi” director Jules Dassin stand up and applaud—it’s clear you’re in the hands of a master storyteller. With some documentary work and TV movie “The Jericho Mile” already under his belt, for his debut feature film, Michael Mann’s command of atmosphere and character arrives fully formed, with “Thief” staking a high bar that the filmmaker would leap from in his films for years to come. Last month, fans and newcomers alike got a chance to revisit Mann’s 1981 movie with The Criterion Collection’s release of “Thief.” Arriving both on DVD and Blu-ray, the film now boasts a brand new digital transfer that allows the neon signs of late night Chicago to pop against the velvet shimmer of the rain soaked streets. And after using the new release as a pleasant »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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'Rififi' (Criterion Collection) Blu-ray Review

15 January 2014 10:41 AM, PST | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

A lot of what I have to say about Rififi would probably read as hyperbole as it stands as not only an important film given its director's political status, but the way in which it can double as not only an art film, but also a striking piece of cinema that can be enjoyed by any measure of movie lover. It's a film noir captured in shadows and silence as a jewel heist takes place over the course of more than 30 dialogue-free minutes after we've watched four men meticulously plan every detail. The tension mounts with every pound of the hammer, screech of the hand-powered crank cutting into the safe and the crumble of asphalt, gently landing in an open umbrella with nary a sound. Is there more that needs be saidc Criterion's new Blu-ray transfer adds much more detail to every inky black scene, elevating the overall effect of »

- Brad Brevet

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New DVD Blu-Ray: 'Carrie,' 'Enough Said,' 'Riddick'

14 January 2014 11:00 AM, PST | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week

"20 Feet From Stardom"

What's It About? Being a back-up singer is no easy task, especially when you're working so hard and getting so little credit. Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Judith Hill, and other singers take front and center in this doc about the women who've revolutionized the music we listen to.

Why We're In: The doc features fantastic footage of performances from every era of modern music -- we dare you not to get teary when you see and hear Luther Vandross doing backup with Fischer and others for David Bowie. Interviews with Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, and Bette Midler are icing on the cake.

Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week


What's It About? Director Jules Dassin snagged the Palme d'Or for this film noir about four guys going in on one last heist -- and we all »

- Jenni Miller

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‘Rififi’ lives up to its imaginative, evocative name

10 January 2014 12:00 PM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »


Written by Auguste le Breton, Jules Dassin and René Weeler

Directed by Jules Dassin

France, 1955

Having recently concluded a prison sentence, Tony ‘le Stéphanois’ (Jean Servais), former thief, is now a poor man, reduced to late night gambling to earn paltry pocket change. His two closest friends and former colleagues, Jo ‘le Suédois’ (Carl Mohner) and Mario Ferrati (Robert Manuel) have something else in mind when they present him the idea of stealing jewels from a high society jeweler shop in downtown Paris. Tony is reluctant at first, having lived enough failures as a crook and desiring to reunite with his former flame Mado (Marie Sabouret). Upon learning however that Pierre Grutter (Marcel Lupovic), eternal rival and nightclub owner, has claimed Mado as his main squeeze, Tony finally gives in to temptation and joins the newly formed quartet of criminal minds, the late addition being safe cracker César, played »

- Edgar Chaput

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Review: Criterion Releases Jules Dassin's "Rififi" (1955) And Kurosawa's "Throne Of Blood" (1957)

4 January 2014 4:11 PM, PST | | See recent CinemaRetro news »

“French Burglars And Shakespearean Samurais”

By Raymond Benson

Two of the superb releases recently issued by The Criterion Collection are classics from the 1950s international scene. One is arguably the best caper/heist movie ever made, and the other is perhaps the best Shakespearean adaptation ever produced.

First up—Rififi, released in 1955 and directed by American director Jules Dassin—who had exiled himself from America due to the blacklist. It’s a film noir made in France with French and Italian actors and a French crew. As the lyrics in a cabaret number, sung by Magali Noel in the film, reveal, rififi means “rough and tumble.” In other words, Rififi is about riff-raff, tough guys, and would-be gangsters. In this case, the protagonists are a quartet of jewel thieves who plan a big caper together—to break into the safe in a notable jewelry store in Paris. Led by Tony »

- (Cinema Retro)

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In January, Criterion Sits on a Throne of Blood, Goes Mad, Mad, Mad, Lives La Vie de Boheme and More

2 January 2014 1:30 PM, PST | | See recent JustPressPlay news »

It's time to ring in the new year with some classic and contemporary cinema lovingly preserved by the folks over at The Criterion Collection. As The Criterion Collection continues their mission of cataloging culturally important films from across the ages, they also make it possible to get some of the best world cinema has to offer on Blu-ray and DVD. In January, The Criterion Collection releases new Blu-ray and DVD combo editions of: It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, the classic comedy by Stanley Kramer; Jules Dassin's classic caper Rififi; Michael Mann's first feature-length (non-tv-movie) neonoir film Thief; celebrated British director Terence Davies's masterpiece The Long Day Closes; Aki Kaurismaki's 1992 comedy La Vie de Boheme; and finally some more Akira Kurosawa (who likely has more films in the Criterion Collection than any other director) as he takes on Macbeth in Throne of Blood. Additionally, Criterion »

- Lex Walker

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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2006

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