There's Always a Price Tag

There's Always a Price Tag ★★★★

Based on a novel by James Handley Chase (author of such hard-boiled titles as You're Lonely When You're Dead and A Coffin from Hong Kong), Retour de manivelle (aka There's Always A Price Tag) is a cracking good noir that features desperate characters corkscrewing their way ever deeper into a brooding web of deceit.

It's a remarkably well crafted film from screenwriter/director Denys de La Patelliere, a filmmaker whose career was not particularly distinguished. This, along with The Upper Hand with Jean Gabin and George Raft, is probably his most accomplished work.

The film loses a few points for making the point of view "Everyman" character such a unmitigated sap. That, however, is my only real complaint about this otherwise fine example of French noir.

Starring the prolific character actor and consummate "That Guy!" Bernard Blier (Monsieur Gangster) as the lead detective.

Where would film noir be if it weren't for life insurance policies?