Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
Hitman Jef Costello is a perfectionist who always carefully plans his murders and who never gets caught...
International superstar Alain Delon as Jef, an assassin whose world is turned upside down when a routine hit gets a tad bit tricky in this Jean-Pierre Melville crime drama. Chirping birds. The way Alain Delon looks wearing his raincoat and top hat. Barking doggie. Plate switcheroo. French hottie. Perfect alibi. High-stakes poker. Fuck the Surgeon General! Smoking is cool. Quick Draw Jef. Michael Jackson's white glove? Police harassment. Usual Suspects-esque moment. Hat game. Identity game. Alain's eyes. Sunny day rain. Subway escape. Stairway walk. Does Alain ever take his hands out of his pockets? Double-cross. Hat rack. Sexy piano playin' vixen. High-tech security system. A breaking and entering straight outta Le Cercle Rouge. Tricky coppers. Swivel chair. Shattered glass. The…
By choosing Alain Delon for the role of Jef Costello - the brooding, silent assassin who slinks through the murky shadows of the Parisian night - Jean-Pierre Melville highlights the importance of casting. Getting the right person onboard who can disappear into their character and embody their spirit. When a director can focus their lens onto a face that tells a story of its own, the hardest part of capturing the attention of the audience is done.
Very quickly after meeting the assassin, questions about Costello quickly rack up. Where has he come from to arrive at this point in his life as a consummate professional killer for hire? How long has he been living in solitude tending to his…
There is no solitude greater than that of the samurai unless it be that of a tiger in the jungle... perhaps...
There's a reason the word suave originates from the French language. This fantastic film noir, from its opening shot, swept me along accompanied by smooth jazzy music and told me the story of an incredibly intriguing protagonist.
Alain Delon is captivating. I watched him in a daze as he portrayed the steely eyed, methodical and outwardly emotionless killer. His look in this film has an iconic feel to it and, apart from being an important element in the first half of the film, really strengthens this film's fantastic style.
Melville is almost as methodical as his hero. He structures…
THE URBAN SAMURAI
Less you speak. More you say.
There is no greater solitude than that of the samurai unless it is that of the tiger in the jungle... Perhaps...
— Bushido (Book of the Samurai)
1) Tigre dans la jungle
Jeff Costello smokes his cigarette, and the title appears and one or two are said information on the screen, it's Saturday night and is. And that's enough for us. Le Samurai has a story and a simple and minimalist plot as everything else is. From the little dialogue that is spoken only 9 minutes and 58 seconds exactly and the first line is: Jef? - What is good to have a few dialogues can give a quick attention to…
That was almost a lethal dose of cool. The raincoat and hat clad hitman at the center of Le Samourai is a smooth talking, deliberately paced isolationist with a stone face and piercing eyes that are always looking towards his next contract hit. The hitman, Jef Costello, has all the qualities of a noir protagonist; quiet, brooding, smoking a cigarette, walking in the rain and living in the shadows. But this noir protagonist walks straight out of the 40's and into the 60's French New Wave film movement.
Jef is a man of straight edges. His sharp downturned eyebrows, the lines on his coat and the perpetually…
The samurai in Akira Kurosawa's films lead honorable lives, although they are essentially contract killers, like Jef Costello in Le Samourai. But a samurai lives by a code of honor, bound by his loyalty to other people. Jef Costello lives and kills by his own rules, obligated to no one but himself.
We are told nothing of Costello's past, of what compels him to live a life of such solitude and discipline, or why he works as a paid killer. His apartment betrays no clues, stark and bare as it is. He moves like a shadow. He is always well-dressed and effortlessly suave. Costello is cold and detached at all times, his calm demeanor unshaken by everything but a bullet…
Le Samourai is a cool, stylish crime drama from director Jean-Pierre Melville. Now for some reason I have never been interested in seeing any of his films, but I have no idea why. Crime, France and the 60s - what's not to love.
After killing a night-club owner, professional hitman Jef Costello is seen by witnesses. His efforts to provide himself with an alibi fail and more and more he gets driven into a corner.
This film has a striking visual style which makes the tone of the film clear from the first frame. It's appealing to look at and enhances the melancholic mood. The influence from 1940s and 50s American film noir is clear, as in most films from…
Even the Meticulous Cannot Be Prepared For Coincidence
This is, you will note, French. It is not, however, Weird Damn French Crap. There is a very clear story. Everything in it follows a precise sequence of events that can be clearly followed by the viewer. The characters have motivations, and while we may not entirely understand them, since when do we ever entirely understand everyone's motivations? What I put under my Weird Damn French Crap header is the generally French kind of film wherein the characters do things because they have to do something or else there is no movie. There isn't reliably a plot per se, there isn't reliably character development, and if you were trying to explain it…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Bracingly tense from the first scene yet full of a meditative and even melancholy spirit.
Tingling thriller about a contract killer living by a personal code similar to that of a samurai is bolstered greatly by Alain Delon's ferociously focused performance.
Seems to take its que from older gangster films like White Heat or Scarface but this certainly stands on its own-especially from other French directors at the time.
Definitely influential over all lone gun men thrillers such as John Woo's The Killer or Hard Boiled-but while the film may have been imitated many times rarely has such deep feeling been expressed by the lead actor or the direction.
Simply sublime direction and acting; and a smooth, jazzy, melancholic score to match.
Samoerai betekent letterlijk: hij die dient. De Franse film Le Samourai gaat niet over een Japanse krijger, maar wel over iemand die dient. Jef Costello handelt in opdracht; hij is een huurmoordenaar, wordt betaald om te doden. Maar het is meer dan dat.
We ontmoeten Jef als hij al rokend op een bed ligt. Een paar minuten lang gebeurt er niets anders, terwijl de openingscredits in het beeld verschijnen. Tien minuten lang wordt er niet gesproken, maar zien we Jef in zijn appartement, waar hij in bescheiden eenvoud leeft, zien we hem zijn jas aantrekken, met een geweldige precisie zijn hoed opzetten en steelt hij een auto.
In de film volgen we Jef tijdens één opdracht. Le Samouraï is een…
I don't really have much to say about this film. In short this film is the king of cool.
Sparse and deliberate. The coolest assassin flick you'll ever see.
This classic noir picture was clearly ahead of its time, blending fantastic dialogue, an ethereal score, and a screenplay as slick as its leading character.
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. An easy way of seeing how…
- The Godfather
- Seven Samurai
- The Godfather: Part II
- 12 Angry Men
most recent update - Sunday, August 3, 2014, 3:02 PM EST
The letterboxd crew has unveiled a new feature that…