Sunday, November 30, 2008
Blacklisted during the McCarthy era, director Jules Dassin was forced to make this movie in France on a tiny budget of $8000 using little-known/past-prime actors as well as himself to star in it.
A pre-cursor to movies like Ocean's Eleven (the 1960 Rat Pack version, ahem), this is about the perfect heist. Highly recommended especially if you get the Criterion edition which has an interview with Dassin in 2000 where he speaks of the Red Scare in America during the 50s.
Classic film noir plot with a bittersweet ending. The actual heist scene takes up about 1/4 of the movie and is performed without dialog or score. It is hard to watch because you feel as though you are right there with them. (I'd also like to note that Carl Mohner as Jo wears the classic Spring Court plimsolls in this scene, which I love very much)
Rififi is being remade with Al Pacino playing the role of Le Stephanois, due out next year. Please don't mess it up.