Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
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 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.
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.
The centerpiece of Rififi is a jaw-droppingly tense 32-minute middle sequence in which not a word is spoken, but Dassin's less showy tricks are just as important to Rififi's reputation as a masterwork. First, he deftly subverts expectations as he introduces the individual thieves, creating right from the outset multi-dimensional characters with inner-conflicts. Second, while Rififi is not explicit, it's brimming with depravity, cruelty and sexuality. Dassin tiptoes over the line of decorum for his time, as if he's single-handedly pushing the genre into the modern age 14 years before Bonnie and Clyde erased the line altogether. Finally, Rififi is about more than just one spectacular crime, but runs a simultaneous (but never intrusive) metatext about the way criminals are romanticized in entertainment and even in their own minds, and the often tragic way that clashes with reality.
Largely inspirational French film about a diamond heist with complications and fatal repercussions.
The film's show stopping ace in it's hand is it's largely silent 30 minute long heist setpiece which is a piece of expert filmmaking, with perfect tension building with no sense of loosening it's grasp. However the film doesn't end there, as we see these criminals fall foul to honour, backstabbing, ruthlessness and greed of others as they pay for their cash, which does add an edge to it where most films wouldn't explore, and the film does seamlessly transition from heist to film-noir in it's second half. If I have any problem, the set up is a bit clunky here and it's ideas don't quite feel planted when they flourish in the end. But it's well worth watching just for that fantastic heist scene.
"It's the lingo of the streetwise. The battle cry of real tough guys."
This movie is Tough. All of the men are Tough and the action is Tough. Probably the most hardboiled-est of the hardboiled movies I've seen. Tony is an incredible character who takes the stoic masculinity of the classical Hollywood hero to the extreme. But he is not without his few moments of tenderness: the cough that comes back every now and then, the scene when he goes back to the girl, the look he gives her at the end, and that final chase through the streets with the little kid at his back.
Perhaps too much has been said about this film, but perhaps you could never say enough about the daring 30 minute long heist that trumps most everything…
I actually think I prefer Night and the City to this. It's more streamlined and packs a bigger punch but it also doesn't include anything nearly as jaw-dropping as the silent heist centerpiece or even the nail-biting race home in its final minutes. As unbelievably tense as those two stretches are, I couldn't help but feel the second half suffered in comparison to the celebrated robbery sequence. This could be partially attributed to inflated expectations, though. Still, that final shot, whew. Talk about bleak.
What a heist.
The film takes a while to get going -- of course our protagonist HAS to lamely opt of the heist before opting in because movies. There's repugnant gender relations early on that feel excisable. But then the club's chanteuse belts out the title song, and RIFIFI finds itself. The heist is a wordless, tense wonder even as it plays out exactly as planned.
They don't make caper movies like they used to. Beautifully staged imagery and sequences that play with light. The built in narrative need for silence seems to make every moment of this heist evermore suspenseful. Watching the sweat drip down the faces of these characters is riveting and the pov shots are brilliant!!
No he visto todos los heist movies que hay, pero me atrevo a afirmar que este es el mejor. Tiene que serlo. A ver, los reto, díganme un heist movie mejor que Rififi y sus 30 minutos sin diálogo, sin música, puro robo a precisión de cirugía médica.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Directed by Jules Dassin the set up and break-in set the standard for heist films. Tony played by Jean Servis is the noble gangster archetype, loyal to no one except his own personal code. Just out of jail for a failed jewel heist he's asked to be the lead of another. As the film progresses from the planning stages to the actual heist you realize he does this for art's sake. Even as he bleeds to death you believe he's right.
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…