Rififi

“I liked you. I really liked you, Macaroni, but you knew the rules.”

After Jules Dassin was blacklisted from Hollywood, he went to Europe to see if he could find anyone willing to hire him. Even there, it took some time but eventually, producer Henri Bérard asked him if he would write and direct the adaptation of Auguste Le Breton’s novel “Rififi.” Jean-Pierre Melville had been asked prior but gave Dassin his blessing to take it on, and Dassin made the film, now hailed as one of the great crime films of the era. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our French Crime Film series with Dassin’s 1955 film Rififi.

We talk about how Dassin came to this project and got it made, changing some unsavory elements of the source material. We look at the nature of the characters and how the story ends, tying it to crime films of the past. We chat about the nature of criminals as protagonists and what that means in context of watching the film. We look at some of the actors and what they bring to the story. We discuss the lengthy robbery sequence in the middle of the film and how well it works to bring out tension in naturalistic ways. And we talk about the look of the story and how it ties into crime and noir elements.

It’s a fantastic crime film that holds up incredibly well. 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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