This post was originally published as part of the DVD of the Day series at Superfriends Universe on January 11, 2011.
I never lose. Never really.
The Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
The Cast: Alain Delon, Nathalie Delon and François Périer
The Release Date: 1967
The Runtime: 105 Minutes
An unfair criticism of French films (and foreign cinema in general) is that it’s generally regarded as “art house.” I went to school to study film, so a name like Jean-Pierre Melville holds some weight over the pretentious film snob crowd. What is great about this film is that it gives both the art house audience and the entertainment-only audience a good hybrid. Yes, it’s a movie about a hitman… but it’s really quite beautifully directed.
Melville’s old school. He fought against the Nazis in World War II as part of the French Resistance. So call him a pretentious director, I dare you.
The camera work is brilliant. Melville knows exactly where to put the camera to convey intrigue, suspense, etc. The dialogue is almost non-existent, so everything is achieved mostly through camera work. That is a rare accomplishment: Minimalist filmmaking that produces a film with maximum entertainment value.
Final word: One of the greatest hitman movies ever made.
Watch this film if you like movies such as:
THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS