After five years in prison, Tony le Stéphanois meets his dearest friends Jo and the Italian Mario Ferrati and they invite Tony to steal a couple of jewels from the show-window of the famous jewelry Mappin & Webb Ltd, but he declines. Tony finds his former girlfriend Mado, who became the lover of the gangster owner of the night-club L' Âge d' Or Louis Grutter, and he humiliates her, beating on her back for being unfaithful. Then he calls Jo and Mario and proposes a burglary of the safe of the jewelry. They invite the Italian specialist in safes and elegant wolf Cesar to join their team and they plot a perfect heist. They are successful in their plan, but the Don Juan Cesar makes things go wrong when he gives a valuable ring to his mistress.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The much imitated heist sequence is over 32 minutes long and contains not a single line of dialogue or music. The production crew and composer Georges Auric thought it would be a disaster to have such a long sequence sans dialogue. Auric insisted that he allow him to write a grand piece of music for the scene and he eventually did on his own. Later Dassin played the part for Auric twice, once with the score, once without. Auric turned to him and admitted, "Without the music". See more »
When Tony picks some dirt out of the dead Jo's hair, Jo's right eye twitches. See more »
You're not the only one that had an unhappy childhood, there are millions like you, and, in my eyes, *they* are the tough ones, not you!
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West German theatrical version was shortened by ca. 8 minutes (the poker scenes, the telephone scene with Jo and his wife, Mario's funeral, small dialogue scenes of Tony meeting various people, Tony finding Jo's corpse, Tony shooting an already dead gangster). This version was also broadcast on TV. See more »
To me, it seems a very risky idea to attempt a Hollywood-remake of Jules Dassin's 1955 classic RIFIFI. Planned for release in 2007, Al Pacino apparently is gonna play the lead, taking on the role of Tony le Stephanois. Risky business... How they're gonna pull this off?
Ironically, Dassin was blacklisted in Hollywood and went on to try his luck in France and made this little masterpiece, aptly called by some "The Grandddady of all caper- and heist movies". In my opinion, it remains a one-of-a-kind classic, beautifully filmed with one of the most memorable endings ever to be put on film. Whatever one's opinion of the film.
In the last couple of years RIFIFI has become dangerously overpraised. Nevertheless, this French noir-classic shouldn't be forgotten. Go see it, before the remake is out there, in order to have some ammunition for comparing the two.
Camera Obscura --- 9/10
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