29 September 2009 | Ben_Cheshire
Perfected the clichés that made every filmmaker want to rob casinos.
"Bob the high-roller," as he was called in the translation I watched; loves gambling. He's also a thief. Everyone thinks he's retired, including the police sergeant he keeps in touch with. But he suddenly gets a taste for it again, and decides to put a group together and rob a casino. Remade un-memorably with Nick Nolte as The Good Thief, this black and white French original created the clichés that made the whole world sing, from Ocean's Eleven (1960), Reservoir Dogs (1991), Casino (1994) and every other breezy heist movie ever made. Stanley Kubrick said he stopped making crime movies because Melville made the perfect one here.
Great characters, a memorable score with jazzy sections, great performances, and probably the best pacing and story of any heist/noir/crime movie from the 30's, 40's or 50's. This is just guaranteed compulsively good entertainment, and as a first experience from Jean-Pierre Melville, instantly encourages me to see everything else he did. My next steps will by Le Cercle Rouge, Army in the Shadows and Le Samourai.