26 May 2003 | sumdenguy
WOW! WOW! WOW!
This was a fantastic film by Jules Dassin. Great characters, heist, villains and photography. This was the complete opposite of Kubrick's The Killing. With very little expository dialogue in the script, so much of the movie was told through actions and glances and was left up to the viewer to decipher, whereas The Killing had a narrator helping the audience feel stupid. What I really liked was the main character---he was such a bad-ass that he had a `The' before his name...Le Stephanois.
The passage of time has been very good to Rififi and I think today's audiences will be surprised at how many of today's directors have borrowed form Rififi. Paul Thomas Anderson's HARD EIGHT comes to mind, as the character Sydney is very similar to Le Stephanois. Also recently, Steven Soderbergh's THE LIMEY comes to mind as being influenced by the characters in Dassin's masterpiece. The story is classic film noir: Bad guys pull off heist, get duped at the end. I think today's audiences will like the story. The only thing that doesn't quite hold up is the scene with the woman singing Rififi in the nightclub. It's quaint to watch, but there aren't many(if any) clubs left like this today. Other than that, it holds up excellently.
It was easy to root for Le Stephanois because he was such a decisive man of action. He knew what to do, how to do it, and you know he would get it done. The villain was cast perfectly. He and his junkie brother were wholly contemptible and you REALLY didn't want him to get the money from such an exhilarating heist.
The scene in the film with Le Stephanois trying desperately to make it to Joe's home is brilliantly juxtapaosed with the boy gleefully riding in the covertible as if it was a carnival ride. It was truly a creepy film moment and one of the only times where there was no sound effects and just soundtrack music playing.
Wow, this is the coolest film noir ever. The infamous hush-hush(20 min.) heist scene, and the fact that a blacklisted American makes the ULTIMATE film noir while in Paris, FRANCE...if you haven't seen it...what the HECK are you waitin' for!?!?!? HURRY!!! HIGHEST RECOMMENDATIONS!