In Paris, Jef Costello is a lonely hit man who works under contract. He is hired to kill the owner of a club and becomes the prime suspect of the murder. However, his perfect alibi drops the accusation against him. His girlfriend Jane, her client and citizen above any suspicion Wiener and Valerie, the pianist of the club and main witness of the crime, provide the necessary evidence of his innocence supporting his alibi. Free, he is betrayed and chased by the gangsters sent by the one who hired him and also by the police, not convinced of his innocence. Jef seeks out who has hired him to revenge.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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 »
[hitman enters the room of the bar owner]
Martey, Nightclub Owner:
Who are you?
Martey, Nightclub Owner:
What do you want?
To kill you.
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The movie's Opening Credits include an epigraph: " "There is no solitude greater than a samurai's, unless perhaps it is that of a tiger in the jungle." - The Book of Bushido." See more »
West German theatrical version was cut by approx. eight minutes. See more »
This film starts off with the same sound like Sergio Leone's 'C'era un volta il west', but it's just that here the sound is made not by a plate, but a canary, the cold-blooded killer's canary.
This film was made in 1967, the French nouveau vague already apparent all over the place, but with much more subtle undertones than, say, a work by Truffaut.
No, Melville's films were old-school, but at the same time revolutionary, in a delicate way. Take for example the 'chase' scene through the Metro. Practically nothing happens: there are no gunfights, no combat sequences, perhaps just a small chase. But it is Melville's camera and Delon's inimitable performance that keep the audience mesmerized all the way.
The camera practically flirts with the audience throughout the whole movie, picking the most interesting angles and achieving so much practically without any effort. Delon's character changes his expression only once or twice during the movie, shoots faster than even Leone's gunslingers and never forgets to feed his canary. To me, one of the most accomplished antiheroes of the whole genre.
The dialogue is barely there, but when it is, then it's something you'd probably wish you would have come up with yourself. It is a minimalist work that achieves the absolute maximum. Simply put: one of the best crime noirs ever made.
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