After professional hitman Jef Costello is seen by witnesses his efforts to provide himself an alibi drive him further into a corner.
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alain Delon ... Jef Costello
François Périer ... Le Commissaire
Nathalie Delon ... Jane Lagrange
Cathy Rosier Cathy Rosier ... La pianiste (as Caty Rosier)
Jacques Leroy Jacques Leroy ... L'homme de la passerelle
Michel Boisrond Michel Boisrond ... Wiener
Robert Favart Robert Favart ... Le barman
Jean-Pierre Posier Jean-Pierre Posier ... Olivier Rey
Catherine Jourdan ... La jeune fille du vestiaire
Roger Fradet Roger Fradet ... 1er inspecteur
Carlo Nell Carlo Nell ... 2ème inspecteur
Robert Rondo Robert Rondo ... 3ème inspecteur
André Salgues André Salgues ... Le garagiste
André Thorent ... Policier - chauffeur de taxi
Jacques Deschamps Jacques Deschamps ... Policier speaker
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Things suddenly go badly for a successful French assassin See more »


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[hitman enters the room of the bar owner]
Martey, Nightclub Owner: Who are you?
Jeff Costello: Doesn't matter.
Martey, Nightclub Owner: What do you want?
Jeff Costello: To kill you.
[shoots him]
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Crazy Credits

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 »

Alternate Versions

West German theatrical version was cut by approx. eight minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in 1,001 Movies You Must See (Before You Die) (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Jef Et Jeanne
Written and Performed by François de Roubaix Et Orchestre
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User Reviews

 
Melville's masterpiece is pure seduction...
24 October 2004 | by i-grigorievSee all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

25 October 1967 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Godson See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$39,481, 2 March 1997

Gross USA:

$39,481
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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