MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,863 this week

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

PG  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  25 October 1967 (France)
8.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 25,655 users  
Reviews: 88 user | 81 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.

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 25 Dec 2010
 
a list of 22 titles
created 17 Aug 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 03 Nov 2011
 
a list of 26 titles
created 03 Mar 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Le Samouraï" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Le Samouraï (1967)

Le Samouraï (1967) on IMDb 8.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Le Samouraï.

User Polls

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

After leaving prison, master thief Corey crosses paths with a notorious escapee and an alcoholic former policeman. The trio proceed to plot an elaborate heist.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Alain Delon, Bourvil, Gian Maria Volonté
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A account of underground resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied France.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Bob, a old gangster and gambler is almost broke, so he decides in spite of the warnings of a friend, a high official from the police, to rob a gambling casino in Dauville. Everything is ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Roger Duchesne, Isabelle Corey, Daniel Cauchy
The Cop (1972)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Bank robbery in small town ends with one of the robbers being wounded. The loot from the robbery is just a asset for the even more spectacular heist. Simon, gang leader and Paris night club... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Alain Delon, Richard Crenna, Catherine Deneuve
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Gustave Minda, better known as Gu, a dangerous gangster, escapes from jail. He goes to Paris to join Manouche and other friends, and get involved in a gangland killing. Before leaving the ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Raymond Pellegrin
Le Doulos (1962)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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 ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Serge Reggiani, Jean Desailly
Crime | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Having recently been uprooted to Milan, Rocco and his four brothers each look for a new way in life when a prostitute comes between Rocco and his brother Simone.

Director: Luchino Visconti
Stars: Alain Delon, Renato Salvatori, Annie Girardot
L'Eclisse (1962)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young woman meets a vital young man, but their love affair is doomed because of the man's materialistic nature.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Monica Vitti, Alain Delon, Francisco Rabal
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In World War II, the widow Barny sees the Italian soldiers arriving in occupied Saint Bernard while walking to her job. Barny lives with her daughter and works correcting tests and feels a ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Emmanuelle Riva, Irène Tunc
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Broke French ex-paratrooper turned amateur boxer Michel Maudet becomes bodyguard for the fugitive corrupt banker Ferchaux.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Charles Vanel, Michèle Mercier
The 400 Blows (1959)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Intensely touching story of a misunderstood young adolescent who, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In a decrepit South American village, men are hired to transport an urgent nitroglycerine shipment without the equipment that would make it safe.

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
Stars: Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Peter van Eyck
Edit

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:

De kaldte ham Samoraien - den ensomme morder 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

One of the most influential films of history that Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Jim Jarmusch, John Woo, Johnnie To, David Fincher, Bernardo Bertolucci, Aki Kaurismäki, Takeshi Kitano, Micheal Mann, Georges Lautner, Nicolas Winding Refn and some others have made movies strongly inspired by that. 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

Superintendant: Have you ever thought how close girls like you are to being prostitutes?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Baker (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Il N'y a pas De Plus Profonde Solitude Que Celle Du Samourai.
23 May 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Le Samourai (1967) ****

The film opens to the semi-annoying sound of a small birds chirp in a dull, grey room that appears to be empty. After a moment we realize the room is not empty - a man lights a cigarette lying on his bed. Meet Jef Costello, played by french pretty boy Alain Delon. The opening shot sets the pace for the rest of movie. There are no high speed chases or wild action sequences, and the star barely speaks a word. Costello is one of the coolest characters in film history. Delon plays his character to perfection. If one did not know anything about him it was likely you would not realize he was a pretty boy. His face is expressionless throughout almost the entire movie - it is a tribute to Delon that he can express emotion on only a couple occasions while still remaining facially expressionless.

Costello is a hit-man, loyal to his boss: himself. The title of the film, Le Samourai, suggests of course that Costello is a student of the Samourai code. But is he really? The movie also opens with a quote "There is no solitude greater than the Samurai's, except for that of a tiger in the jungle. Unless perhaps it be that of the tiger in the jungle." This supposedly comes from the Book of the Samurai, which as it turns out was an invention of director Jean-Pierre Melville.

The story plays out as Jef completes a hit on night club owner, after setting up an almost too perfect alibi, but on his way out the door is seen by a the beautiful piano player. The police round up a number of people who look fit the description; Costello happens to be rounded up while at a card game. His alibi is strong, and mysteriously the piano player claims that this is definitely not the man she saw; another man who watched Costello walk out of the club also said with certainty that this is not the man. Another club patron claims that he saw this man at the club at the time of the murder and claims this is the culprit. The remaining two witnesses aren't sure, but don't think this was the killer. We know its Costello, the third man believes it is him, but why do the two who had the best look claim that this is not the man they saw? The plot evolves from here: The police believe Costello is lying and follow him everywhere; the men who gave Jef the hit will betray him and come after him as well.

Melville is meticulous in his direction, just as Costello is in his actions. There is great detail paid to the actions of Costello leading up to the hit, from stealing a car while trying a number of keys, placing those that do not work in a perfect line on the seat beside him, to his alibi with a woman (played by Delon's real life wife) who says she does not love him to the police, but we get the feeling she does indeed. There are moments of silent comedy that you could almost miss: The men riding with Costello on the way to the police station, none of whom look anything like the description, some old and decrepit; there is a scene in which Jef opens his cupboard and we see on the top of it bottles of water and packs of cigarettes lined up perfectly. None of this is laugh out loud funny, but incredibly clever and lets you know that Melville knows exactly how Costello should be.

As stated, the film is not full of action. It is a film where almost nothing happens. But no other film in which nothing happens has ever been so riveting. There is a famous metro chase scene that moves at probably the slowest pace of any chase scene in cinematic history, but it is enthralling. The pace sets up more importantly the themes of the movie. What are they? Its been debated widely. Searching for home? Mental Breakdowns? Morality, and loneliness? I would argue that it is not one, but likely all of these. The title reflects Jef's solitude and loneliness more than his code of honor. The final scene reflects many things about what we just witnessed, and has left some confused about what happens. Costello does a number of things in the latter half of the movie we do not understand, and that Melville gives us no answers to. Costello returns to the night club for example, buys a whiskey, pays for it, and then promptly leaves without drinking it. Why? Who knows.

Le Samourai is a classic, filled with pitch perfect performances and is the inspiration for a number of modern day films. John Woo has called it an absolutely perfect film, and he is likely right. It is a meticulously developed project, with virtually no flaws. It's probably the best film about hit men ever made, which is a narrow classification of this film, because it is more than just the story of a hit-man. Il N'y a pas De Plus Profonde Solitude Que Celle Du Samourai.

4/4


27 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why is IMDb changing the titles of Melville movies to English? jimmyr5595
In Top 250! *gasp* metalheadmaniac0
Problem with the movie Bobby9940
The novel it was based on Peter-174
Didn't get the ending. Goldmund1710
Inspiration for 'No Country For Old Men' unclelonghair
Discuss Le Samouraï (1967) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?