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Le Samouraï (1967)

Le samouraï (original title)
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 André Thorent ... Policier - chauffeur de taxi
Jacques Deschamps Jacques Deschamps ... Policier speaker
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Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Paris was cold and wet... a killer waited in the shadows See more »


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

25 October 1967 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Le Samourai See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$39,481, 2 March 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$39,481, 2 March 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Rui Nogueira (author of the book "Melville on Melville" published in 1976), the caged bird shown as Jef Costello's pet in "Le Samourai" was the only casualty of the fire that destroyed Melville's studio in 1967. 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

Jeff Costello: Trouble?... Because of me?
Jane Lagrange: No, you've never meant trouble for me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"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 »

Connections

Referenced in One Hundred and One Nights (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Jef Et Jeanne
Written and Performed by François de Roubaix Et Orchestre
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Melville's Masterpiece
31 October 2005 | by riskbreaker113See all my reviews

I just recently saw this film for the first time (a la Criterion) and I was completely blown away. This film can be summed up with a single word: minimalism.

This is a work of true cinema. Hollywood tends to forget that cinema is first and foremost a visual art. Le Samurai is a film that could've been made as a silent movie. The director establishes meaning not with dialog but with the best tools available to a director; editing, mise en scenes, cinematography and composition. There is a constant feeling of solitude and isolation. Even when the protagonist finds himself in large groups, his face is pale, his eyes are cast downward and he is still a constant outsider.

On another note, the film looks surprisingly modern. There's none of the graininess of many other 60s and 70s films. Rather, the lighting and the whole visual aesthetic is pitch perfect, from the black and white nightclub (dualism) to the sparse gray apartment to the subterranean eeriness of the Paris subway.

Personally, I would not recommend this film to people not interested in real cinema, people who like 'movies' rather than 'film', simply because there's a strong possibility it will seem extremely annoying and boring to you. On the other hand, if you're a fan of serious cinema, do yourself a favor and watch this film.


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