Roger Sartet (Alain Delon) is a high profile career criminal who is top of the French police wanted list, so when he escapes from their custody for a second time under the nose of dogged cop L'inspecteur Le Goff (Lino Ventura), he goes immediately into hiding as the police try to locate him. Vittorio Manalese (Jean Gabin) a Sicilian born criminal and godfather of a mob style family, is the man who sprung him from police custody, he has long planned his retirement back in Sicily but is immediately interested in one last heist after hearing Sartet's plan for a big jewel heist in Rome. Together with some mobsters from New York, they set in motion a daring plan to steal the jewels while on route to the US. All goes well for Sartet until a child's indiscretion alters his fate for good.
Entertaining enough crime flick, with some excellent set pieces and made with plenty of style, the funky main theme by Ennio Morricone being a highlight. All three legends of French cinema are excellent although none have enough screen time to truly rank in their best. Verneuill's direction is uber stylish, with some passing similarities to Leone in framing and tone, although some elements of the main heist are quite dated they are still quite fun. Its not a film for the pc brigade however as there is plenty of sexual denouement, Sartet's affair with the beautiful Jeanne Manalese (Irina Demick) producing one of cinemas most outrageous moments of sexual symbolism, its so absurd you just have to laugh.
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