A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
["Rififi"] ...means Trouble!
Out of prison after a five-year stretch, jewel thief Tony (Jean Servais) turns down a quick job his friend Jo (Carl Mohner) offers him, until he discovers that his old girlfriend Mado (Marie Sabouret) has become the lover of local gangster Pierre Grutter (Marcel Lupovici) during Tony's absence. Expanding a minor smash-and-grab into a full-scale jewel heist, Tony and his crew appear to get away clean, but their actions after the job is completed threaten the lives of everyone involved.
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…
"Five years in the pen marks a man."
Bullets don't kill people, long prison sentences do.
It's entirely impossible to talk about Rififi without reckoning with its central heist scene. Tony le Stéphanois (Jean Servais) is a career criminal recently released from his commuted jail term (for good behavior), and his friends on the outside convince him to participate in (and essentially engineer) a bank robbery. What follows is without doubt the single greatest heist scene in any movie I've ever seen. It clocks in at about half an hour long, and it plays out completely without dialogue. Following the release of Mad Max: Fury Road, "visual storytelling" has become a popular buzzword, but there's nothing that better describes the…
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…
A tragedy! And a famous heist scene. Very methodical, almost felt like a tutorial. Check your watch often and remember, not too loud now. Always keep an eye on the time, keep an eye on the schedule. No words needed, only the periodic clank clank clank. It's like Thief, it reminds me of Un Flic. I guess Rififi is the mother of them all, Dassin's out there setting standards for crime films despite being blacklisted by Hollywood. Ending was superb and climactic. Classy, thrilling french noir.
A classy crime drama, full of suspense, shadows and technical prowess. The intricate half an hour jewellery store heist alone deserves applause, but everything around it is also beautifully scripted and performed.
A must see.
"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.
Holy shit. This might be an all time favorite. The best noir picture I've seen thus far, no doubt there. Time will tell. But wow.
Like where do you begin? The noir, the actors, the shadows, the heist, that cough!!! Ah! So much, so much to love, admire, feel inspired by here.
I swear if there's anything I so desperately want to do in my life its make a noir film. I must make a noir film. I have to. I will.
Much more than the work of Melville, Dassin's "Rififi" definitely feels like an "American" French film. While it lacks the Franco-American hybridization that made Melville's oeuvre so interesting, "Rififi" still excels as a late European noir -- with one of the all-time best heist sequences.
I'd been meaning to watch Rififi for ages and somehow only just got round to it. The famous middle act, which chronicles the heist itself, is entirely wordless, a genius technique that magnifies every nervous footstep and careful hammer blow, ratcheting the suspense to unbearable limits. I found it interesting that while we hope that they succeed during the act itself, the film doesn't really commend the gang and their actions (an early scene shows Tony, the protagonist of sorts, making his ex-girlfriend strip down before beating her). They're still awarded some sympathy, but the brutality and darkness of the third act drives home a pretty obvious crime-doesn't-pay moral, with gripping results.
tspdt 729 2016
actor: Jean Servais as Tony le Stéphanois
character: Mado les Grands Bras by Marie Sabouret
One of the best noir heist film you can see. Similar to Melville's Le Cercle Rouge, Dassin, together with a superb composer, staff of actors and an exceptional DP, crafts a film that starts out a bit slow, but will soon have you reeling and about to fall out of your chair with tension and suspense.
The actual heist is virtually silent. No dialogue, no soundtrack. And this format makes it even more compelling. And while it may seem like Le Cercle Rouge had direct influence from the film, apparently Melville was originally going to direct this himself before approving of Dassin taking the reigns when he got too busy (and then made Rouge a dozen or so years later).
Both of these films have impacted many heist films since then, and they both equally awesome and captivating and the best of the best.
Among the best heist films ever.
It seemed to me while I was watching (and I even jotted down a note) that this film is the template of all great Heist Movies. It has a parabolic structure of: Act: Planning , Act 2: Execution, Act 3: Aftermath. The film starts off light and fun like *Ocean’s Eleven*, has a almost silent tour-de-force 30-minute scene where the tension is literally ratcheted up with each screeching turn of the safe cracker’s cutting tool. Then with the jewels in hand entropy takes over, and the film takes a dark turn, echoes of which can be seen in *Reservoir Dogs*. It ends in the most harrowing car ride I’ve seen, which feels so raw and analogue, the terror is heightened…
"There's something I've always wanted to tell you. There are kids, loads of kids who've grown up in poverty like you. How did it happen? What difference was there between them and you, that you became a hood, a tough guy, and not them? You know what I think, Jo? They're the tough guys."
• Tony Le Stéphanois is the Walter White of 50's French crime noir cinema.
• That legendary 30 minute silent heist sequence probably still gives Brian De Palma the cold sweats in the dead of night when he thinks back on how he tried to top it in Mission: Impossible.
• If Jules Dassin's masterfully executed direction wasn't an influence in some way upon Steven Spielberg - particularly in the use of the non-flashy, subtle-but-effective "oners" (as detailed here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8q4X2vDRfRk ) - then I will eat both of Werner Herzog's shoes...
After being outed as a communist and subsequently blacklisted by Hollywood, director Jules Dassin took his own brand of hard boiled noir to France. With no Hays Code to adhere to, he could truly make his masterwork; a film about a gang of anti heroes that the film never once attempts to sell as likeable, coupled with several dialogue free sequences that feel like step by step guides on how to successfully commit a robbery. It is the sort of movie the Hollywood of 1955 would have looked at with utter disgust, as it is so devoid of moral decency- even the somewhat moralistic ending feels like a acidic subversion of what audiences had come to expect from their crime…
This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…