Le Samouraï

“What kind of man are you?”

Jean-Pierre Melville wrote the script for Le Samouraï for Alain Delon. When he started telling Delon about the script, Delon stopped him after ten minutes, commenting on how there was no dialogue yet. Melville said that was correct, and Delon’s immediate reaction was to say, “I’ll do it.” He then brought Melville to his bedroom where he revealed that it was decorated in a very sparse Japanese style with a samurai sword hanging over his bed. It seemed it was meant to be. Now, looking at the film, it’s hard to imagine anyone but Delon playing the part of Jef Costello, the hitman, because he’s so perfect in the part. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we wrap up our short French crime film series with Melville’s 1967 film Le Samouraï.

We talk about Delon and the nature of silence in this film of Melvilles. We look at the color palette and debate if it would make more sense as a black-and-white film. We talk about the procedural nature of the film, exploring the criminal and police sides of this. And we discuss the cinematography, sound design and music and what they bring to the table.

It’s a fantastic, moody film that definitely creates a tone. We have a great time talking about it on this week’s show, so check it out then tune in. The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins.

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