A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
Hitman Jef Costello is a perfectionist who always carefully plans his murders and who never gets caught. One night however, after killing a night-club owner, he's seen by witnesses. His efforts to provide himself with an alibi fail and more and more he gets driven into a corner.Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
The epigraph, credited to the Book of Bushido, was in fact written by director Jean-Pierre Melville. In his book "27 Movies from the Dark Side" Roger Ebert expressed disappointment at learning the quotation was fictional. Melville also wrote the epigraph in Le Cercle Rouge (1970), credited to Buddha. See more »
The streets change from bone dry to soaking wet and raining when Jef flees from the female undercover cop in the Paris Metro. See more »
For once, a bad guy who really acts like a bad guy should! This hit-man is one cold, non-descript and calculating man who plans and executes his hit with the utmost precision. About the only character I remember who did a more thorough job was the hit-man in Day of the Jackal. The police also seem very bright and competent--and repeatedly nearly trip up the baddie (Jef). Because of all this realism, I strongly commend this movie. On top of the realism, I really liked the ending. All in all, a fine film and there are no negatives that I can think of--except that this type of film is probably NOT everyone's cup of tea, so to speak. There really isn't any romance and no one is particularly likable, but what do you expect in a film like this?
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