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 start of the film is completely dialog-free for almost ten minutes. The first word, "Jef?" spoken by Jane Lagrange (Nathalie Delon), comes at the 9:58 mark. See more »
When rounding up suspects the inspector refers to the population as 10 million. The 1968 population of Paris city proper was only 2.6 million. The population of the urban area was only 8.2 million. See more »
Exceptional French noir film with an incomparable Alain Delon as cold murderous
The film begins with a preface:'Il n'y' a pas plus profound solitude que Celelle samurai Si Ce Nést Celle Dún Tigre Dans la jungle..Peut-etre..'Le Bushido. Samurai's solitude is only comparable a tiger into jungle. Jef Costello(Alain Delon as excellent anti-hero) is a cold professional killer , he establishes an alibi with the help his lady-lover(Nathalie Delon) and unexpectedly in an act of almost unknown compassion by a club's piano player(Rosier). Meanwhile, he's double-crossed and an obstinate police inspector(Francois Perier) track him down. The precise murderer is pursued throughout the Paris'underground.Then the doomed Costello becomes into avenging angel of death looking for vengeance.
This is the best of Melville's thrillers with Alain Delon magnificent as the expressionless murderous. Delon has striven in vain to repeat success in numerous subsequent movies at the same genre , such as another known actors, Lino Ventura , Jean Paul Belmondo and generally directed by Henri Verneuil, Jose Giovanni and Jacques Deray. The movie packs a splendid cinematography by Henri Decae, the photography glitters as metallic and cold as a gun barrel. The picture is perfectly directed by Jean Pierre Melville in a memorable work. Later beginnings as a post-war forerunner of the 'Nouvelle vague'left his style in several different ways as a purveyor of a certain kind of noir movie, creating his own company and a tiny studio. Although retaining its essential French touch and developing a style closer to the world of the American film noir of the 1940s than any of their other such forays. Studio-character about personages damned to inevitable tragedies, powerful finale, stylized set pieces heightens the suspense and tension have place in all Melville's film-making. His movies and singular talent are very copied and much-admired by contemporary directors, specially the 'Polar' or noir French cinema, such as, 'Second breath' 'The red circle', 'Dirty money' and of course 'Le samurai'.
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