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The Samurai (1967)
"Le samouraï" (original title)

8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 23,790 users  
Reviews: 84 user | 79 critic

After killing a night-club owner, professional hitman Jef Costello's 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 ...
Le Commissaire
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

Plot Keywords:

alibi | murder | gangster | witness | suspicion | See more »

Taglines:

De kaldte ham Samoraien - den ensomme morder


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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The start of the film is completely dialog-free for almost ten minutes. The first word, "Jef?" spoken by Jane Lagrange (Nathalie Delon), comes at the 9:58 mark. See more »

Goofs

(at around 40 mins) Jef exits a taxi in the pouring rain, but a clear blue sky can be seen reflected in a foreground car hood and bright sunlight on background buildings. See more »

Quotes

[hitman enters the room of the bar owner]
Bar Owner: Who are you?
Jeff Costello: Doesn't matter.
Bar Owner: What do you want?
Jeff Costello: To kill you.
[shoots him]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Il solitario (2008) 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.


53 of 72 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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