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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
A French UN delegate has disappeared into thin air, sending reporter Moreau (Jean-Pierre Melville) and hard drinking photographer Delmas (Pierre Grasset) on an assignment to find him. Their only lead is a picture of three women.
In a small town in occupied France in 1941, the German officer, Werner Von Ebrennac is billeted in the house of the uncle and his niece. The uncle and niece refuse to speak to him, but each... See full summary »
In a snowball fight between schoolboys the handsome Dargelos hits the chest of Paul, who drops unconscious to the ground. Paul has a deep affection for Dargelos, and later denies that there... See full summary »
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
There's a cut as Commissaire Mattei turns on the lamp in his apartment. The cat beside the green chair disappears and the cat in it switches from facing sideways to facing the camera. See more »
Between shooting two men six feet away and hitting a target at 100 feet there's a certain difference. It's the difference between an amateur and a professional. And, despite all appearances, I'm not professional.
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First let me say I'm a fan of Melville. His compositions of a frame, his use of silence, his held shots, but THE RED CIRCLE is not one of Melville's better films.
Melville was always a minimalist, he was never a director who had much to say, 60% of his films were always... silence. So a 100 minute movie for Melville, was really only 40 mins of movie with 60 mins of style. His best movies, Le Doulous and Le Samourai, stay right around this 100 minute mark, coming in at 108 and 105 minutes respectfully. And at that length, they take Melville's minimalism and style as far as it can go, without slumping into tedium or filler.
At a 140 minutes Red Circle, falls headlong into tedium and filler. It is Melville's emptiest movie, with his customary 40 mins of story now horrifically stretched into two hours and 20 minutes. There's a lot to like in pieces about this movie; the train break, the trunk scene, but they are few and far between.
Two nearly identical long scenes of the inspector feeding his cats, the laughably ineffective hallucination scene, and the robbery itself, unlike his earlier works... are flawed uses of silences. Melville, perhaps believing his own hype, takes it too far, they are tedious, tedious scenes.
He tries to outdo Asphalt Jungle and Rififi and he fails miserably. And even edited down substantially the movie would still fail, because the 40mins of story that Le Doulos and Samourai had... were brilliant, RED CIRCLE is not. While Melville did the script for all three of these films, the first two were sourced from acclaimed novels of the time.
Here in RED CIRCLE Melville goes it alone, making up his own story, and it shows, in a confused and muddled film that ends as poorly and as unconvincingly as any film in recent memory.
All in all, not Melville's finest hour. So have to side here with Bluesdoctor, Bornjaded, Mike, and Steve and give this one a fail.
** out of ****.
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