Blu-ray Rififi [Blu-ray] [Criterion Collection] (Blu-ray 16964290),
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Rififi [Blu-ray] [Criterion Collection]

  • NR
  • Blu-ray
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • With the dramatic crime thriller RIFIFI, blacklisted American director Jules Dassin returned to the cinema triumphantly. In addition to directing, Dassin co-wrote the script and appeared (under the name Perlo Vita) as Cesar the Italian safecracker. Cesar is one of the gang formed by the gaunt Tony (Jean Sevais), who has just returned to Paris from prison. The others are family man Jo (Carl Mhner) and the ebullient Mario (Robert Manuel). The four men plan a jewelry heist--and the almost 30-minute long robbery scene at the center of the film has become one of the cinema's classic sequences. They break into an upstairs apartment, tie up the couple who live there, and smash through the floor--carefully collecting the debris in an umbrella. Then, they lower themselves into the jewelry store, drill through the safe, and return the way they came. Dassin forgoes both music and dialogue as he shows the robbery in meticulous detail--and the sequence is riveting. The gang has barely completed the job, when unplanned incidents threaten, the police appear unexpectedly, a rival gang gets wind of the robbery, there is a kidnapping, and in the skullduggery that follows, only the honor of the gang survives.

    Cannes Best Director 1955 Jules Dassin American Director/Blacklisted, RIFIFI (1954), TOPKAPI (1964)

  • Credits
    Jean Servais, Carl Mohner, Marie Sabouret, Jules Dassin, Perlo Vita, Magali Noel, Magali Nol, Robert Manuel, Robert Hossein, Emile Genevois
  • Critic Reviews
    "...Moody-poetic nightworld artistry....[As savage as the] dozens of films over which it still casts its shadow..." -- Rating: A
    Entertainment Weekly

    "...One of the great crime thrillers, the benchmark all succeeding heist films have been measured against....A driving, compelling piece of work, redolent of the air of human frailty and fatalistic doom..."
    Los Angeles Times

    "...Dassin lenses a noir landscape that maps '50s Paris with streets and locales that recall the documentary eye of photographer Eugene Atjet....Rialto Pictures should be applauded for resurrecting an undeservedly obscure treasure..."
    Chicago Sun-Times

    "...The granddaddy of French caper movies..."
    USA Today

    "...Dassin's technique of depicting his characters' most appalling acts off-camera is viciously effective..."
    Sight and Sound

    "Dassin fashioned a lean, elegantly stylish drama..."

    5 stars out of 5 -- "Jules Dassin's thriller is practically the textbook definition of a great crime movie."
    Total Film

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