Charlie Kohler is a piano player in a bar. The waitress Lena is in love with him. One of Charlie's brother, Chico, a crook, takes refuge in the bar because he is chased by two gangsters, ... See full summary »
Based on the Starkweather-Fugate killing spree of the 1958, in which a fifteen-year-old girl and her twenty-five-year-old boyfriend slaughtered her entire family and several others in the Dakota badlands.
Abel Davis is a criminal, hunted in Italy. The police are closing in, so he and his pal Raymond arrange to flee back to France with Abel's wife, Thérèse, and their two young sons. Abel and ... See full summary »
George, after getting out of prison, begins looking for a job, but his time in prison has reduced his stature in the criminal underworld. The only job he can find is to be a driver for ... See full summary »
Charlie Kohler is a piano player in a bar. The waitress Lena is in love with him. One of Charlie's brother, Chico, a crook, takes refuge in the bar because he is chased by two gangsters, Momo and Ernest. We will discover that Charlie's real name is Edouard Saroyan, once a virtuose who gives up after his wife's suicide. Charlie now has to deal wih Chico, Ernest, Momo, Fido (his youngest brother who lives with him), and Lena... Written by
As Charlie, Lena and the two kidnappers are driving down the road, a truck in front of them bears a large "Cahiers du Cinema" sign. Director François Truffaut wrote for "Cahiers" and dedicated The 400 blows, another one of his films, to its founder, Andre Bazin. See more »
When Lena and Charlie walk home after work you can see the shadow of the camera on their coats. See more »
My pop used to say, "If someone knocks, assume it's a murderer. If it's just a robber, you'll be happy."
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Truffaut's homage to the American gangster film stars Charles Aznavour as a smalltime piano player in a bar who has a secret past that he keeps hidden. The film almost falls into the trap of not being an homage to the gangster film, but rather being one itself. What saves it is the film's unique wit and charm - it's a blend of humor, romance, and gangster film. The gangsters themselves are quite funny, casually discussing everyday matters in a way that certainly had to influence Quentin Tarantino when he was writing Pulp Fiction. Some of the jokes are funny just because they are so silly (i.e., the gangster swearing his truth on his mother's grave). It's this sense of humor and the fact that the movie doesn't take itself seriously that sets it apart from other gangster movies of the day.
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