Fresh out of prison and hell-bent on revenge, the recently paroled burglar, Maurice Faugel, finds himself, once more, on the run from the police after what should have been a quick and simple robbery. Now, under shady circumstances, everything points to Maurice's former friend and partner-in-crime, Silien: a cold-blooded, stony-faced gangster who has a reputation for being an unscrupulous informer. However, did Silien truly rat on Faugel? After all, in the heart of the ruthless Parisian underworld where one must choose between lying or dying, Silien seems willing to redeem his already tattered reputation, of course, in his own twisted way. In the end, is the so-called honour among thieves nothing but a mere myth?Written by
This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #447. See more »
When the first murder takes place, a lamp on a long cord is knocked from a table. In the next shot, it's swinging in a different direction than it did when it fell, and much more vigorously than it would have been possible. See more »
I don't give a damn. But I have the jewels and I need the money.
See more »
Here we have yet another euphemism for nark in French underworld slang -we have already encountered La Balance and Le Cousin - which appears to possess an endless supply of same. 'Doulos' means both 'hat' and 'informer' on French streets and given the subject matter plus the trade of the leading character it is well named. Jean-Pierre Melville was, of course, both a specialist and master of American-style French gangster films and here he does both himself and his American Masters proud. At this time he was still shooting in Black and White which enhanced the resemblance and homage to such U.S. titles as 'The Asphalt Jungle', Melville's personal favorite, though when he DID go with color he turned out two masterpieces in 'Le Samourai' and 'Le Cercle Rouge'. He tended to work with actors repeatedly, specifically Alain Delon - Le Samourai, Le Cercle Rouge, Un Flic - and Jean-Paul Belmondo, who even played a priest for Melville in Leon Morin, prete. It's Belmondo who gets to bat this time out and when he steps up to the plate he hits one out of the park. He is established tidily as a nark and Melville daringly delays until two thirds of the way through to reveal what is arguably the biggest twisteroo. To say more would be superfluous. Go see. 8/10
4 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this