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"Le Casse" is a simple, straightforward story about a crook named Azad (Jean Paul Belmondo), whose gang stole emeralds worth $1 million. While waiting for their boat to leave Athens, they hid the jewels, and try to escape from the schemes of a unscrupulous cop, Zacharias (Omar Sharif).
This movie is another example of the brilliant collaboration between the underrated Henri Verneuil ("Un singe en hiver", "100,000 dollars au soleil", "Peur sur la ville") and Belmondo. They share an honest love for such movie treats as car chases, evil bad guys, anti-heroes, slight eroticism, exotic food, humor and Bond-like misogyny. Which this movie contains galore. And it's also one of the first times when Belmondo performs his famous stunts, without any wires or stunt doubles. One scene in particular shows the "hero" being hidden in a dump-truck, which discharge its payload (including Belmondo) on a slope going down to a mine. You can actually see Belmondo stumble down the slope among debris and rocks and once down the slope stand up, dust off his trousers and walk away. In a single shot. Like Jackie Chan or Colt Seavers. And the movie contains a lot of great 70's milestones, like an almost silent intro showing the theft of the emeralds, or a spectacular car chase in the streets of Athens.
All in all, a very entertaining piece of 70's French cinema.
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