Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
["Rififi"] ...means Trouble!
Rififi is a 1955 French crime film adaptation of Auguste Le Breton's novel of the same name. Directed by American filmmaker Jules Dassin, the film stars Jean Servais as the aging gangster Tony le Stéphanois, Carl Möhner as Jo le Suédois, Robert Manuel as Mario Farrati, and Jules Dassin as César le Milanais. The foursome band together to commit an almost impossible theft, the burglary of an exclusive jewelry shop on the Rue de Rivoli. The centerpiece of the film is an intricate half hour heist scene depicting the crime in detail, shot in near silence, without dialogue or music. The fictional burglary has been mimicked by criminals in actual crimes around the world.
Noir-November Challenge! Movie #30
A spectacular 32 minute (dialogue and music free) heist scene that not only influenced filmmakers it inspired thieves worldwide whom successfully implemented similar tactics shown in the film!
The meticulous details involving the disarming of the alarm during the preparatory rehearsal for the heist was equally amazing! Little did the director know his keen eye and attention to details would end up being a blueprint for Rififi inclined individuals to commit robberies!
If you are serious about heist films or film noir this is an absolute MUST SEE! When it comes to heist films and nerve wracking suspense Jules Dassin has mad skills! I've seen quite a few gangster flicks and have never seen one that…
I give kudos to any film that can pull off a substantial amount of time without dialogue: WALL-E, There Will Be Blood, 3-Iron, but Rififi takes the cake. A full half-hour with no dialogue and no music, and it is one of the most suspenseful scenes I've ever seen.
When people say Rififi is the best bank heist film, they mean it. Everything about this film is perfect. Jean Servais, a famous French actor who had not worked in years is perfect as Tony le Stéphanois, a strong quiet man who just got out of jail and is lured into another heist. He's highly respected among his peers because of his loyalty, his wits, his attention to detail, but more…
For a job with you, he'll come.
One of the most fascinating things about Rififi is the fact that it was Jules Dassin's first film in 5 years since being blacklisted in Hollywood as US Studios made it hard for him to even get directing work in Europe. Here he finally gets in the director's chair again in France and hammers out a damn masterpiece while Hollywood still refused to let him work.
The heist film. The set up is familiar because it's been redone umpteenth times since and is still being done today, and will be done again tomorrow. Here though it is perfection. We're introduced to the many different elements of the story, a heist is…
Here's a fact: I don't like Heist movies. Yeah, they could be fun to watch sometimes. But all that planning to steal the you-know-what, executing it with 'style' with a few punch-lines thrown in has been recycled by God knows how many movies. For starters, I wanna clarify I find Reservoir Dogs ridiculously overrated. If you count Inception as a Heist movie, it was my favorite movie of that genre so far. Ocean's Eleven is probably a close second due it is laugh-out-loud moments and sexy editing but by the end of the day, it's still forgettable in my universe.
When I came across Rififi (Or the sexier French title Du Rififi Chez les Hommes), I learned how 'influential' this…
"There's not a safe that can resist Cesar and not a woman that Cesar can resist"
The granddaddy of Heist Movies.The masterstroke is the main heist itself which is 30 minutes of pure unadulterated realism..Meticulous,tense and riveting.it's worth watching just for that alone.
I'm a big fan of heist movies and film noir in general, so I was bound to like Rififi. I'd always heard of it's "masterpiece, best ever film noir heist movie ever" status - and while I didn't love it that much, it's still a great film all around. The main focus point when talking about Rififi is the heist sequence - around 30 minutes of no dialogue or music, just a meticulous, tense, and carefully planned jewel heist. It's likely the best "heist scene" I've seen, and probably one of cinema's most memorable moments. The camerawork and direction really shine in this area. And despite a fairly weak beginning, that heist scene - and everything that comes after - is top caliber filmmaking. The denouement at the under-construction house and Tony's final drive really cap off this cynical and entertaining film. I'm glad I finally got around to this one.
As planned and meticulous a the heist itself, Rififi is an efficient film with little room for thematic divergence. Despite cultivating the stencil for the genre, all characters are stock cuttings in which all emotion is strained through the stoic eyes of Jean Servais, the recently released old time crook who scowls through the entirety of the film and emotes through his brows rather than his mouth. He may buy toys for his protégé’s son but that is merely a distinction of his ruthless efficiency rather than a guise to hide it. It speaks volumes of his cut-throat personality but it also lends the film a firm, diamond layer that is hard to chip through.
Academically, Rififi is an excellent…
The tree from which all heist films grow.
3 Stars for the first ~20 minutes; They were fine, but I can't say I was enthralled.
4 Stars for the planning the heist parts; that's when I started feeling impressed.
A MILLION STARS!!!!!!!!! no wait ALL THE STARS!!! ALL OF 'EM!!!! EVERY SINGLE ONE!!!!!! for the heist sequence; I know I was lying down while watching this, but I was on the edge of seat!
3 1/2 Stars for the post-heist/pre-climax bits; once again, fine, but tense/interesting.
4 Stars for the finale; good stuff.
So overall, I'm averaging it out at 4 stars.
A bit predictable (due to being oft imitated) but it contains the quintessential heist sequence.
ps. couldn't help but notice the distinct lack of child car safety!
Instead of telling me the more pertinent fact that Georges Auric scored it, some of my friends just told me that Rififi was one of their favorite films. I don't particularly blame them for not mentioning it, but it's just an instant classic for me. This is a great example of film music that can be symphonic and swelling without losing effect in terms of its relationship with the visual and diegetic. All of Auric's scores are good at that (at least the ones I've heard in Cocteau's films).
Everything else about this movie's great, too. The Chaplin reference with the wind-up penguin is especially clever.
Forward looking heist/gangland rivalry film. Aging mobster plans a final retirement robbery. All goes to plan, or does it?
Streets ahead of contemporary British and American films, it's a real tour de force. The actual robbery scenes are brilliantly done -with no dialogue or additional music for half an hour. Absorbing and well worth watching.
proof that the hollywood blacklist wasn't all bad? probably not but still pretty brilliant.
Just when you think you've seen the peak of crime films already, Rififi comes out of left-field and blows everything away. This is electrifying filmmaking any way you look at it. Effortless universe building with characters that seemed steeped in genuine humanistic folly versus the stock noir characters I was half expecting. There's something so organic yet very, very deliberate about this film. There's efficiency in the forward momentum of the plot but never contrivances. I sat there thrilled every second while also being a bit dumbfounded as to how Dassin kept one-upping himself at every turn. Dassin could've just made a spitfire of a noir like this can be at times but he imbues it with so much sincerity that the stakes and action function at such a high and rewarding intensity. Monumental stuff.
The true impact of the film is not in its pervasive tension, or in its masterful heist sequence, but in the fatal fallout of its great characters and the wages of Sin.
A full review is here.
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