• Warning: Spoilers
    A gangster pulls off a daring escape, much to the disgust of the police commissioner who caught him - and who is convinced that he will kill again. The gangster finds refuge with a Sicilian clan, led by a fearsome patriarch. In return he offers the clan a great deal of money. He also tries to interest his new friends in a major heist involving an important Franco-Italian exhibition on the art of jewellery...

    This is basically a movie about a bunch of gangsters pulling off a brazen heist while falling victim to their own vices and prejudices. (Don't expect the movie to end on a scene of darling lambs frolicking on a spring meadow - the resolution is drenched in blood.)

    "Le clan" is notable for its high budget, high ambitions and stellar cast. You've got Gabin, Ventura and Delon ; if you were to add Belmondo into the mix, you'd get the Holy Quatrefoil of the sixties and seventies. Gabin and Ventura are reliable as always, but Delon is somewhat underwhelming. In fairness, it needs to be said that it is hard to warm to his character, a cold-hearted and calculating criminal who only feels genuine tenderness for his sister.

    I won't say that this is the "nec plus ultra" of gangster movies, but it's certainly a solid, carefully made movie with a suspenseful and memorable intrigue. The viewer also gets to enjoy some nicely ironical twists and some good lines. Watch the scene where the police bursts into the offices of a man suspected of forgery. The man is filming or photographing some kind of orgy, complete with a pyramid of naked and semi-naked participants. When accused of making counterfeit passports, he replies that he has sworn off crime, as proven by his new-found career as a pornographer...

    Finally it should be noted that the movie benefits from a glorious, instantly recognizable Ennio Morricone score.