6.7/10
1,354
12 user 25 critic

Two Men in Manhattan (1959)

Deux hommes dans Manhattan (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 16 October 1959 (France)
Trailer
1:36 | Trailer
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.

Writer:

Jean-Pierre Melville (scenario, adaptation and dialogue)
Reviews

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Therese is a nun-in-training who returns to "civilian" life to care for her young sister Denise.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Philippe Lemaire, Juliette Gréco, Yvonne Sanson
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Broke French ex-paratrooper turned amateur boxer Michel Maudet becomes bodyguard for the fugitive corrupt banker Ferchaux.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Charles Vanel, Michèle Mercier
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

1941 in a small town in Nazi occupied France. Against the will of its elderly male and his adult niece residents, the Nazis commandeer a house for one of their officers, Lt. Werner von ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Howard Vernon, Nicole Stéphane, Jean-Marie Robain
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The dangerously obsessive relationship between a psychologically manipulative brother and sister who isolate themselves and draw others into their mind games.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Nicole Stéphane, Edouard Dermithe, Renée Cosima
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A gangster escapes jail and quickly makes plans to continue his criminal ways elsewhere, but a determined inspector is closing in.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Raymond Pellegrin
Le Doulos (1962)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A burglar betraying other criminals, prepares for a big heist with a trusted friend that might be as untrustworthy as he.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Serge Reggiani, Jean Desailly
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Set during occupied France, a faithless woman finds herself falling in love with a young priest.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Emmanuelle Riva, Irène Tunc
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After losing big, an aging gambler decides to assemble a team to rob a casino.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Roger Duchesne, Isabelle Corey, Daniel Cauchy
Un Flic (1972)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After a shaky first heist, a group of thieves plan an even more elaborate- and more risky- second heist.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Alain Delon, Richard Crenna, Catherine Deneuve
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A day in the life of Beby the clown. Filmed between shows at Circus Medrano, at home and in the streets of Paris, with his faithful partner and friend the clown Maïss.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Beby, Maïss
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

After leaving prison, master thief Corey crosses paths with a notorious escapee and an alcoholic former policeman. The trio proceed to plot an elaborate heist.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Alain Delon, Bourvil, Gian Maria Volontè
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An account of underground resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied France.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Pierre Grasset Pierre Grasset ... Pierre Delmas
Christiane Eudes Christiane Eudes ... Anne Fèvre-Berthier
Ginger Hall Ginger Hall ... Judith Nelson
Colette Fleury Colette Fleury ... The Secretary
Monique Hennessy Monique Hennessy ... Gloria
Glenda Leigh Glenda Leigh ... The Singer
Jean Darcante Jean Darcante ... Rouvier
Michèle Bailly Michèle Bailly ... Bessie Reed (as Michele Bailly)
Paula Dehelly Paula Dehelly ... Mme. Fèvre-Berthier
Nancy Delorme Nancy Delorme
Carole Sands Carole Sands
Gloria Kayser Gloria Kayser ... Une fille
Barbara Hall Barbara Hall
Monica Ford Monica Ford
Billy Beck ... Le partenaire de Judith Nelson sur scène
Edit

Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

16 October 1959 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Dois Homens em Manhattan See more »

Edit

Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,527
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Many scenes were filmed in New York City at night, and in one scene can be a seen a theater marquee showing Separate Tables (1958) with Rita Hayworth, David Niven and Burt Lancaster, which was released in 1958. See more »

Quotes

The Singer: [sings] There's a street in Manhattan / With a house that has no windowpanes / And the lamp that burned all night / Listen man, go away from me / I lived there so long ago / With a guy you wouldn't care to know / God it's cold here / Nothing good here / Go man / Not tonight
See more »

Connections

Featured in Keeping Up Appearances (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Rich, ambiguous, underrated gem from maestro Melville.
6 December 2000 | by the red duchessSee all my reviews

'Nothing seems real. You don't exist. I must wake up' moans the failed suicide and actress, as she is gently pressured by journalist Moreau into revealing the whereabouts of her lover, missing UN diplomat, womaniser and Resistance hero Fevre-Berthier. Melville's most realistic film, shot amid the bright-neon signs of New York, is also a pure dream, its narrative unreeling over one very dark night, swamping its protagonists into mere silhouettes or fragments, as they walk and drive and drive and walk in an echo-laden, empty silence, punctuated by fierce jazz squalls.

'Deux Hommes' is generally considered one of Melville's least successful films, and the director rejects it in his famous interviews with Rui Nogeuira, claiming that its failure made him seriously rethink his way of making films. It's not easy to see why it should be so disapproved of. The narrative is brisk if conventional, as it follows a traditional detective story route of problem, investigation, solution. Perhaps what is most objectionable is the film's theme, the idea that sometimes it is honourable and proper to conceal the truth from the public.

I may be biased - this was my first Melville film, eight years ago, beginning a love affair that is even more intense today - but I think 'Deux Hommes' is pretty good, for a number of reasons. Most immediate is Melville's use of light and darkness, the way he works between blazing neon and dense obscurity, as he does between noise and silence or sharp montage and Wyler-like deep-focused long-takes. This visualises the theme of the film, the darkness of the 'victim''s absence brought to light by the investigative journalists, with truth thrown back into the darkness.

Although Melville's heroes seem less 'deconstructed' here than in his most famous films, he uses subtly elaborate means to undermine them. Throughout, they are in a position of power, moving with ease through the different worlds of New York, from burlesque houses and brothels to expensive bourgeois apartments, linking two seemingly disparate realms. When interviewing people who knew Fevre-Berthier, Moreau remains rigidly framed, while his interlocutors are shot from different angles, cut up, fragmented, figuring his unbreakable integrity, and their dissimulating multiple identities.

But Moreau, for all his supposed decency, is never as powerful as he thinks. His firm point of view is often broken up by unmotivated angles that problematise scenes he dominates. He is frequently swallowed up in darkness, his authority literally disappearing. God-like camera angles looking down on him mirror the car that follows him - unlike a conventional detective, he has less information than we do, and so is emasculated. His body is sometimes broken up by Melville's compositions, particularly when the pair come out of Capitol Studios, and are shot from inside a car, watched by an unseen stranger, or in the climactic chase, as he keeps getting out and back into the car, his head repeatedly lopped off.

this undermining is linked to the theatrical metaphors strewn throughout. The four women interviewed are all linked to performance - an actress, a singer, a call-girl pretending to be Marilyn Monroe, and a stripper. Dalmas mimics Fevre-Berthier, and invents a different death for the victim, just as Moreau and his boss finally do. The men play the role of brother and friend to sneak into the hospital. They repeatedly enact what they're going to do or see. Throughout the film we get shots of the surface of New York, as if nothing has changed, but once we have penetrated the world beneath the glitter, it is impossible to take these signs, or these men, in the same way again.

Unusually for a Melville 'crime' film, the protagonists are detectives and not gangsters. However, Melville uses similar tropes to his gangster films to further undermine his heroes. The hospital scene is familiar from these films, the shaking up of someone with information, Moreau waiting outside like a boss, while his henchman does the dirty work. Moreau, throughout the sequence, with his 'gentle' persuasiveness, becomes genuinely sinister.

As they wait with the corpse in his lover's apartment, Moreau and Dalmas are visited by the editor, the 'Boss', wearing shades - his dealing with the body, his wearing shades indoors, his re-arrangement of the truth are all gangster staples, and yet he is the editor of a reputable magazine, determined to bury the truth about a Churchill-praised Resistance hero.

Melville is often acclaimed/reviled as France's greatest Americophile. It is here significant that Melville the director is also the lead actor, because just as the actor goes through a real geographical space, the director goes through an imagined cultural space of favoured American landmarks, Time Square, Broadway, Mercury Theatre, Time Magazine, Capitol Studios etc. The anti-hero's name is Delmas, a reference perhaps to John Dalmas, Chandler's prototype Philip Marlowe.

This kind of allusionism further destabilises the film's realism, as do narratively irrelevant shots of cigarette packets, the brand smoked by Melville's one-time friend Godard. Melville is always pushing back the limits of his genre, the hilarious, 'A Bout de Souffle'-like jazz-warnings to remind us of the car following our heroes, the car-lights seem to wink at us, as if we're both in on the joke on the heroes. In a very striking scene, flagrantly breaking 'plausibility', Moreau gets into the driver's seat with the address card of their next destination. The soundtrack suggests they start up and drive off, but the camera stays in an immovable car on the driver holding the card. In the penultimate scene, as Delmas lays slumped on the floor, the band that had been the act become the audience; a trumpeter approaches and blows with mock-melancholy.

There is so much more in this deceptive, short film that deserves a reconsideration, especially for its incredibly detailed technique that never forces itself, but is very rich. But the film works best for me as a (Hustonian?) study in failure, of the film's other hapless womaniser, Delmas, a great talent doused in impotence and drink, prepared to do vicious things for a break, a man who could have had everything, but seems shell-shocked by life, who can only find beatitude through alcohol. Rather him than the deeply creepy probity of his partner.


26 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 12 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed