Speaking of Murder

Speaking of Murder ★★½

There’s actually not a whole lot of speaking about murder in this movie, but that English title probably makes no less sense than the French original “Le rouge est mis,” which translates to “the red light is on”—no television or recording studios figure into the plot. Anyway, this sleight, underwhelming French noir is probably most notable for typically agreeable performances from Jean Gabin and Lino Ventura as two world weary hoods just trying to get by taking down scores. The unsteady interpersonal friction within the crew is probably the most interesting thing to watch. This is a gang that should not be dining together after successful jobs, as they do, if for no other reason than they can barely be bothered to mask their utter contempt for one another. The conflict makes for moderately entertaining viewing, but the capers they pull are generally mundane, and the denouement of their affairs is fully predictable.

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