Corey is a cool, aristocratic thief, released from prison on the same day that Vogel, a murderer, escapes from the custody of the patient Mattei, a cat-loving police superintendent. Corey ... 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 ... See full summary »
The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York is portrayed while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on his crime syndicate stretching from Lake Tahoe, Nevada to pre-revolution 1958 Cuba.
Corey is a cool, aristocratic thief, released from prison on the same day that Vogel, a murderer, escapes from the custody of the patient Mattei, a cat-loving police superintendent. Corey robs Rico, his mob boss, then enlists Vogel and an ex-police sharpshooter, Jansen, in a jewel heist. While Corey is harried by the vengeful Rico, Mattei pressures Santi, a nightclub owner and pimp, to help him trap the thieves. Over all hangs the judgment of the police directeur, that every man is guilty. Written by
While "Le Samourai" had one great lead performance, this has four
While its not the masterpiece that "Le Samourai" was (I've accepted by now that Jean-Pierre Melville was never able to top that classic), I find "Le Cercle Rouge" to be much better than "Bob le flambeur". I felt that "Bob le flambeur" was an above-average and influential b-film, but still a b-film. "Le Cercle Rouge" proves that as a filmmaker Melville improved as he continued. John Woo is a massive fan of Melville, even though their film-making style differs. While Woo uses fast-motion for shootouts and an operatic sense of violence, Melville has a minimalist style that suits him very well. He wasn't interested in creating quickly paced action films but more meditative crime thrillers. In that department, he was one of the best.
"Le Samourai" is still his best work, mainly because it has more character development than this, but on a technical level they're probably equal. Besides, while "Le Samourai" had one great lead performance, this has four. Alain Delon is once again an ultra-cool gangster on the prowl - this man's silence is fascinating. Bourvil is superb as the police inspector on the case of the heist and escaped con. He steals every scene he is in, and proves that he was a skilled dramatic actor (in France he is best known as a slapstick comedian in the mode of Buster Keaton). Yves Montand is great also as the shaky and paranoid gun expert. Gian Maria Volontè (a regular in spaghetti westerns) is overshadowed by his three co-stars but still does an adequate job.
Once again, Melville's direction is superb. Taking equal influence from both American crime thrillers and the French new wave, the man always seems to know the best shots and angles to choose. This is more slowly-paced than most caper flicks, but it really pays off by the end. "Le Cercle Rouge" is a bit short of being an absolute classic, but is still one of the best heist flicks ever made. Tarantino must've seen this before making "Reservoir Dogs". (8/10)
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