A man plans a hold-up with a group of trusted fellows, he gets his hands on the money, and the girl - what could go wrong? Almost everything.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Hossein ...
Daniel Boisset
Jean Sorel ...
Paul Genest
Catherine Rouvel ...
Maria
Georges Wilson ...
Thomas
Lucien Raimbourg ...
Roux
...
Simone
Jacques Bertrand ...
Marc
Jean-Jacques Delbo ...
Joubert
Sophie Grimaldi ...
Starlet
...
Priest (as Jean Lefevre)
Maurice Nasil
Armand Mestral ...
Le curé / Corenne
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Storyline

A man plans a hold-up with a group of trusted fellows, he gets his hands on the money, and the girl - what could go wrong? Almost everything.

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Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

13 November 1963 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Highway Pick-Up  »

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(Westrex Sound System)
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Connections

Remade as The Dumb Die Fast, the Smart Die Slow (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Evil in the sun
16 January 2011 | by (NYC suburbs) – See all my reviews

Locksmith Daniel Boisett (Robert Hossein) and his co-worker Paul Genest (Jean Sorel), friends since childhood, supplement their income with the occasional burglary until life spins wildly out of control one rainy night after Paul kills a man who catches them robbing his apartment. Paul manages to escape but Daniel's wounded by police and, taking the fall alone, is later sentenced to 20 years in prison but, enroute to the big house, he escapes and hitches a ride with the middle-aged Thomas (Georges Wilson) who offers him a job at his roadside restaurant. Daniel quickly accepts but soon finds out that Thomas' sexy young wife, Maria (Catherine Rouvel), has had her eye on the nest egg in her husband's safe for a long time and could use a man like him...

Julien Duvivier's classic French noir, based on a ripe piece of pulp fiction by James Hadley Chase ("Come Easy -Go Easy"), careens into THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE territory at this point but the story takes so many breathless twists and turns, any comparisons are ultimately unfair. All kinds of complications ensue when Maria's husband ends up dead and Paul pops up again but "no good deed goes unpunished" in this perverse universe where greed, lust, and self-preservation trump decent human emotions like love and friendship every time. Daniel's the quintessential noir anti-hero, caught in a vortex of nightmarish cause and effect, and the femme fatale's a feral sex kitten who double-crosses anyone who crosses her path. Like MGM's version of THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, much of HIGHWAY PICKUP takes place in broad daylight, giving the film an "evil under the sun" aura and even though a stylistic shadow world, hallmark of the American Film Noir, is absent here, thematically the film's as bleak and as black as they come. The bitterly ironic ending, reminiscent of both Robert Siodmak's CRISS CROSS and Stanley Kubrick's THE KILLING, is a memorable one.


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