A French UN delegate has disappeared into thin air, sending reporter Moreau (Jean-Pierre Melville) and hard drinking photographer Delmas (Pierre Grasset) on an assignment to find him. Their only lead is a picture of three women.
1941 in a small town in Nazi occupied France. Against the will of its elderly male and his adult niece residents, the Nazis commandeer a house for one of their officers, Lt. Werner von ... See full summary »
In a snowball fight between schoolboys the handsome Dargelos hits the chest of Paul, who drops unconscious to the ground. Paul has a deep affection for Dargelos, and later denies that there... See full summary »
Burglar Maurice Faugel has just finished his sentence. He murders Gilbert Vanovre, a receiver, and steals the loot of a break-in. He is also preparing a house-breaking, and his friend Silien brings him the needed equipment. But Silien is a police informer ... A movie whose "all characters are two-faced, all characters are false", according to director Jean-Pierre Melville. Written by
Le Doulos is a very good gangster noir from Jean-Pierre Melville. Like his other crime films its American influenced but with French style. It's really a recreation of the American film-noir of the 40's in 60's Paris. As such it's very stylised. Despite the time period, all of the actors look, act and dress like characters out of a hard-boiled movie from the 1940's. Trench coats and hats are the order of the day despite not being in the least bit in fashion in the 60's. The actors were all instructed to perform in a very controlled stylistic way that mimicked those old movies. This was seemingly something that Jean-Paul Belmondo found very unsatisfying, not surprising from an actor famed for working with Jean-Luc Godard whose style was extremely loose and off-the-cuff by comparison.
Like noir, this one has a cast of characters where none are good in the traditional sense. It's about a thief who has just been released from prison. He immediately gets involved in criminal activity but is sold out to the police. He suspects his best friend is a police informer ('le doulos'). It's about betrayals, friendship and people assuming the worst of each other; the honour/dishonour of thieves. Of course, this being a noir, things do not run in a straightforward manner and there are several twists and turns before we reach the end. Look out also for an early cinematic nude scene featuring Fabienne Dali who also made a memorable appearance as a sexy witch in Mario Bava's Gothic horror film Kill, Baby Kill!
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