11 user 24 critic

Max and the Junkmen (1971)

Max et les ferrailleurs (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 17 February 1971 (France)
3:56 | Trailer
A detective decides to go undercover and set up a group of robbers, but he may be getting too caught up in the task at hand.


Claude Sautet


Claude Néron (novel), Claude Sautet (screenplay) | 5 more credits »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Michel Piccoli ... Max
Romy Schneider ... Julia Anna 'Lily' Ackermann
François Périer ... Rosinsky
Georges Wilson ... Le commissaire
Boby Lapointe Boby Lapointe ... Lui Serafino dit P'tit Lu
Philippe Léotard ... Losfeld
Michel Creton Michel Creton ... Robert Saidani
Betty Beckers Betty Beckers ... Maria
Henri-Jacques Huet Henri-Jacques Huet ... A. Cyriaque dit Dromadaire
Dominique Zardi Dominique Zardi ... Baraduch
Dany Jacquet Dany Jacquet ... Ida
Danielle Durou Danielle Durou ... Nicole
Jacques Canselier Jacques Canselier ... Jean-Marie Patinet dit Jean-Jean'
Maurice Auzel Maurice Auzel ... Antoine Chantoiseau dit Tony
Léa Gray Léa Gray ... Madame Saidani


Max is a Paris detective, aloof, independently wealthy, and frustrated by gangs of robbers whom he cannot catch. To re-establish his stature and save face, he decides to inveigle a group of petty thieves (led by an old acquaintance) to rob a bank. A reluctant captain provides Max intelligence and Max starts spending evenings with Lilly, a prostitute who's the girlfriend of the group's leader. He poses as a rich banker with money to burn and encourages Lilly to think about her future. He hints at a payroll that comes through his bank. The plot works, the petty thieves think they're ready for a big score, and the cops are in place. What could go wrong with Max's cold plan? Who's entrapped? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Romy Schneider dubbed her own voice in the German Version of the film, then entitled "Das Mädchen und der Kommissar" (The Girl and the Commissioner). See more »


Featured in Claude Sautet or the Invisible Magic (2003) See more »


Destruction Et Redemption De Max
Written by Philippe Sarde
Performed by Jean-Michel Defaye
See more »

User Reviews

'Max et les ferrailleurs' - a fascinating overlooked gem
1 August 2015 | by VladdusSee all my reviews

Undeservedly neglected, 'Max et les ferrailleurs' is one of the most intelligent, splendidly acted and carefully crafted French crime flicks of the 70's. However, cataloguing it as just another 'crime flick' would be sacrilegious, as it has to offer much more to the patient viewer.

Claude Sautet, from what I have gathered, is known for his dealing with the bourgeoisie's turmoils, often depicting complex social dramas in his films. Prior to watching 'Max et les ferrailleurs', I had only seen another great film he made with Michel Piccoli - Les Choses de la Vie, which is indeed quite different from 'Max'. The subjects and genres might differ, yet Sautet ingeniously manages to create intriguing character studies (as both films have fascinating protagonists) and, while at that, to depict perplexing and powerful love stories, which help shape the protagonists' moral portraits.

I won't insist on the plot; suffice to say that the film does not get dull at any time and it also does not fall into a standard, clichéd policier. Max, the protagonist, could be compared to Melville's Le Samourai, insofar as both are cold, meticulous, obsessive and enigmatic. The baddies - the 'junkmen'- are also well individualized, and here I should point out the excellent scene where policeman Rosinsky talks about each of them. Last but not least, there's also the divine Romy Schneider: between us, I wasn't able to take my eyes off her whenever she was in front of the camera.

One more aspect that amazed me about the film was the fluent and elegant camera-work, which had an immense impact on creating the film's atmosphere. Although I'm not by any means technical literate, the composition of the shots struck me as carefully planned and the lightning was spot-on.

In a nutshell, 'Max et les ferrailleurs' is more than you'd be inclined to think: it's gritty and elegant at the same time, it's brutal and sensual, it's a thrilling crime movie and a complex character study, in short it is what a good film must be. Don't miss it!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 11 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.



France | Italy



Release Date:

17 February 1971 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Max See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,264, 12 August 2012

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed