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Delon In Mellow Fade Out Role: Retired Cop Targeted by Mafia Guns
For years, Alain Delon has held the mantle of the handsome brooding detective, soft- spoken almost to the point of silence, quietly going about the business of murder-- or solving them. In Europe Delon has been a major star since the 1950's, justly celebrated for films made with Visconti, Antonioni and Clement; his few American films didn't do much to enrich U.S. appeal, but no matter. Le Samourai, Rocco and His Brothers, Mr. Klein, Purple Noon and many others justly cemented his reputation, and here towards the end of his career, he has made this swan-song to a lifetime of crime in the movies, playing a cop about to retire.
Fabio Montale is set mainly in Marseilles (where Delon actually grew up), and the rich Technicolor and sense of place contributes greatly to this series of related cat-and- mouse detective thriller, as Montale, the title character, attempts at last to make some kind of dent in mafia crime.
As the three parts continue, it is evident that for one reason or another, it is dangerous to know Montale; even though he is much loved by the populace, and especially by his mom-and-pop neighbors, who have a seaside home where Montale likes to hang out, there lurks in the darkness people who want to do him in, who want to drag him into deadly shooting when he is ready to retire. It is a civilized entertainment with a quality script, plenty of suspense, and a richness of character development in it's 4 1/2 hour running time.
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