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Le Cercle Rouge (1970)

Le cercle rouge (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 20 October 1970 (France)
After leaving prison, master thief Corey crosses paths with a notorious escapee and an alcoholic former policeman. The trio proceed to plot an elaborate heist.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alain Delon ... Corey
Bourvil ... Le Commissaire Mattei (as André Bourvil)
Gian Maria Volontè ... Vogel (as Gian-Maria Volonte)
Yves Montand ... Jansen
Paul Crauchet ... Le Receleur
Paul Amiot Paul Amiot ... L'inspecteur général de la police
Pierre Collet Pierre Collet ... Le Gardien de prison
André Ekyan André Ekyan ... Rico
Jean-Pierre Posier Jean-Pierre Posier ... L'assistant de Mattei
François Périer ... Santi (as François Perier)
Yves Arcanel Yves Arcanel ... Le juge d'instruction
René Berthier René Berthier ... Le directeur de la P.J.
Jean-Marc Boris Jean-Marc Boris ... Le fils Santi
Jean Champion Jean Champion ... Le garde-barrière
Yvan Chiffre Yvan Chiffre ... Un policier
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Storyline

On the eve of his release after five years imprisoned, the thief Corey is contacted by one guard of the prison that offers him a jewelry heist. However Corey seeks out his former boss Rico and steals money from him. Rico sends two gangsters to hunt Corey down and retrieve the stolen amount. Meanwhile the criminal Vogel is transported by train by the Police Officer Mattei and succeeds to escape. Corey drives from Marseille to Paris and Vogel hides in the trunk of his car. Corey finds him but does not object to ride Vogel to Paris hidden in the trunk. When the gangsters sent by Rico cut in Corey's car, Vogel saves him from the criminals, but Corey loses the money. Without money, Corey decides to heist the jewelry with Vogel and invites the former police detective Jansen to team-up with them. The trio executes a perfect heist but Rico is seeking revenge and Mattei is an unethical but efficient police officer capable to use any means to resolve the case. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No place to hide..Nowhere to run.. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

20 October 1970 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Le Cercle Rouge See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,843, 12 January 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$372,229, 14 September 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Favorite movie of Jean-Pierre Dardenne. See more »

Goofs

When Mattei returns to his office after Le Receleur's son has overdosed, he pulls the door open. In the next cut from inside the office, Mattei is seen pushing the door open. See more »

Quotes

Vogel: Between shooting two men six feet away and hitting a target at 100 feet there's a certain difference. It's the difference between an amateur and a professional. And, despite all appearances, I'm not professional.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The movie's Opening Credits include an epigraph: "Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, drew a circle with a piece of red chalk and said: 'When men, even unknowingly, are to meet one day, whatever may befall each, whatever the diverging paths, on the said day, they will inevitably come together in the red circle.'" This quote explains the title of the film. See more »

Alternate Versions

The uncut version (released on Criterion disc) runs 140 minutes. When the film appeared in the U.S. in the 1970s, it ran somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 minutes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Españolas en París (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The circle
19 February 2006 | by jotix100See all my reviews

Not having seen this film in quite some time, we caught with it not long ago in the nicely transferred Criterion DVD. "Le cercle rouge" is a film that owes a lot to other movies, as it keeps reminding us about "Rififi", "The Asphalt Jungle", among others, because they all deal with capers that take center stage in the movie and reproduce it in great detail. Unfortunately, one knows that old adage that crime does not pay, and from the start, these men involved in it are doomed from the onset.

Jean-Pierre Melville was a director of few words. He didn't fill his pictures with a lot of dialog, as it's the case here. Yet, for not being "talky", they had a style of their own as proved with "Le Dolous", "Le Samurai", and his masterpiece, "Bob le flambeur", among others. Mr. Melville had a sense of style that comes across in everything he did. In this film, working with his cinematographer, Henri Decae, he takes us along for a ride through the streets of Paris that shows the vibrant city mainly at night and the bleak winter in France. The score is by Eric Demarsan that emphasizes a jazzy music that accompanies most of the action.

Although the film shows Alain Delon, as Corey, at the center of the action, it is however, the smart inspector Mattei who is the real hero of the movie. As played by the great Bourvil, he is a man that shows a lot of patience because he has figured from the beginning how to catch Vogel, and in the process he gets involved in the investigation of the jewel heist in which he knows the escaped man he is tailing looms large behind it. Bourvil gives an enormously satisfying performance as Mattei showing equal parts of determination and tenderness, as it's the case with the three cats he adores.

Alain Delon always responded with interesting performances his appearances in Mellville's pictures. In here he is Corey, the man who is first seen leaving prison and promising himself he won't go back, but he cannot pass a good thing when he decides to go ahead and participate in the robbery. His association with Vogel and Jansen, pays off in the way they get the job done, but it will also prove a mistake in the way they will not be able to dispose of the loot as the fence they have relied on has a change of heart.

Gian Maria Volonte and Yves Montand are seen as Vogel and Jansen, respectively. They were excellent actors who blend well in the action of the film. Both actors were at their best moment when they took the roles in the film and it shows. Mr. Montand has the more complex character to play as we witness him in his first moment in front of the camera as a man with many demons inside his head.

Jean-Pierre Mellville got wonderful results from his cast and crew in a film, that although feels a bit longer, but still succeeds in showing his style in one of the most memorable pictures from the director.


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