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Le Samouraï (1967)
"Le samouraï" (original title)

PG  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  25 October 1967 (France)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 27,414 users  
Reviews: 90 user | 84 critic

After killing a night-club owner, professional hitman Jef Costello is seen by witnesses. His efforts to provide himself with an alibi fail and more and more he gets driven into a corner.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
François Périer ...
Nathalie Delon ...
Jane Lagrange
Cathy Rosier ...
La pianiste (as Caty Rosier)
Jacques Leroy ...
L'homme de la passerelle
Michel Boisrond ...
Wiener
Robert Favart ...
Le barman
Jean-Pierre Posier ...
Olivier Rey
Catherine Jourdan ...
La jeune fille du vestiaire
Roger Fradet ...
1er inspecteur
Carlo Nell ...
2ème inspecteur
Robert Rondo ...
3ème inspecteur
André Salgues ...
Le garagiste
André Thorent ...
Policier - chauffeur de taxi
Jacques Deschamps ...
Policier speaker
Edit

Storyline

Hitman Jef Costello is a perfectionist who always carefully plans his murders and who never gets caught. One night however, after killing a night-club owner, he's seen by witnesses. His efforts to provide himself with an alibi fail and more and more he gets driven into a corner. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Things suddenly go badly for a successful French assassin See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

25 October 1967 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Le Samouraï  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$39,481 (USA) (28 February 1997)

Gross:

$39,481 (USA) (28 February 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Melville worried how he was going to shoot the scene where Jef drives the stolen car right into the scrap garage. Without missing a beat, Delon drove the car down the narrow alley and into the garage in one shot. See more »

Goofs

When rounding up suspects the inspector refers to the population as 10 million. The 1968 population of Paris city proper was only 2.6 million. The population of the urban area was only 8.2 million. See more »

Quotes

Gunman: Nothing to say?
Jeff Costello: Not with a gun on me.
Gunman: Is that a principle?
Jeff Costello: A habit.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Limits of Control (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Melville's Masterpiece
31 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I just recently saw this film for the first time (a la Criterion) and I was completely blown away. This film can be summed up with a single word: minimalism.

This is a work of true cinema. Hollywood tends to forget that cinema is first and foremost a visual art. Le Samurai is a film that could've been made as a silent movie. The director establishes meaning not with dialog but with the best tools available to a director; editing, mise en scenes, cinematography and composition. There is a constant feeling of solitude and isolation. Even when the protagonist finds himself in large groups, his face is pale, his eyes are cast downward and he is still a constant outsider.

On another note, the film looks surprisingly modern. There's none of the graininess of many other 60s and 70s films. Rather, the lighting and the whole visual aesthetic is pitch perfect, from the black and white nightclub (dualism) to the sparse gray apartment to the subterranean eeriness of the Paris subway.

Personally, I would not recommend this film to people not interested in real cinema, people who like 'movies' rather than 'film', simply because there's a strong possibility it will seem extremely annoying and boring to you. On the other hand, if you're a fan of serious cinema, do yourself a favor and watch this film.


57 of 78 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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