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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Tip-Top Nightclub owners and former legionnaires Tony (Pierre Vaneck) and his pal Dick (Roger Hanin) are in desperate need of cash to pay off a $75,000 note to mobster Le Maltais. At the end of their rope, they're approached by Pepere (the former owner of their club) who offers them a solution to their problem if they will help him heist half a million in gold from a local smuggler. At issue is that the mark is the father of Tony's girlfriend Bridgitte (Mijanou Bardot, BB's younger and just as hot sister). Of course, the boys will need a little more convincing and we come to understand that Pepere's offer was only part of an elaborate setup a la ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW. In fact, some parts of this movie seem to have been lifted whole by director Robert Wise for his film a year later. Do I have to say that the plan goes horribly wrong? M
  • Yes Mijanou Bardot is BB's younger sister .No,she does not resemble that much her famous sibling.And she has only four lines (maybe five) to say.Her part is however important in the plot since her papa carries millions in his car as if they were cabbages for the market.And Mijanou's boyfriend (Pierre Vaneck)and his pal (Roger Hanin) attack the car to latch on to the dough;but do not panic,they use chloroform,in the good old-fashioned way.How naive and mindless these guys are:they do not even wear any masks or hoods! That was Michel Deville 's first film , who teamed up with Charles Gérard ,an actor who directed low budget films noirs like this one.The latter sank into oblivion,but the former made critically-acclaimed works afterward.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Having another title waiting to be viewed,I quickly looked in my mountain of French films waiting to be seen for one I could plug in and play. Finding his Lucky Jo (1964-also reviewed) to be an excellent Film Noir,I got set to see Michel Deville unload the barrel.

    View on the film:

    Making his film making debut without the involvement of future editor/co-writing collaborator Nina Companeez, directing auteur Michel Deville offers tantalising glimpses to his future recurring motifs when co-writing/co-directing here with Charles Gerard, as jolts of Deville's abrupt smash and match-cuts are layered over Dick and Tony's money handling deeds. Whilst not blending seamlessly together, the set-pieces likely done by Charles Gerard (who did more acting than directing) have a refined Film Noir atmosphere, with the relaxed motions during well performed music numbers in the night club,and stilted wide-shots in the final, creating an oddly gentle vibe. Writing a year later the outstanding Film Noir The Road to Shame (1959-also reviewed), the screenplay by Albert Simonin and the two co-directors present a neat and tidy Film Noir package, whilst whilst not aiming for psychological depth, finds thrills in war vets Tony and Dick having to weigh how much trust they give to friendly gangster Pepere,as the last barrel is emptied.
  • Pierre Varneck and Roger Hanin own a money-losing night club. In walks Don Ziegler, who wants his money - he had given it to them to smuggle out of Indo-China. They try to sell the club back, but the real owner has a proposition: take part in a robbery from a gold smuggler, and they'll split the loot.

    Michel Deville's first feature is a taut crime drama, full of double-crosses, pretty girls, flashy cars and an air of desperation that never lets up for the two leads. With a lively jazz score by Raymond Bernard, some nice camerawork by Claude Lecomte, the seventh minutes that this movie takes flashes by. Hazel Scott shows up as a piano-playing chanteuse and La Bardot's sister Mijanou is the golf-playing girlfriend of Haneck, named 'Brigitte'... and the daughter of the man they rob. Even the author of the policier this is based on, Albert Simonin has a short role.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I also was mainly interested in this film for the rare opportunity to see Brigitte Bardot's sister Mijanou in action; she is cute, but she doesn't have her sister's screen presence or mystique by any means. Besides, her role is pretty small. Apart from her, "A Bullet In The Barrel" is a disjointed crime drama that is so forgettable you are forgetting parts of it before the film is even over! The male lead is Roger Hanin, an actor I personally think is best suited for supporting roles; he was also the lead in a couple of Claude Chabrol spy movies made a few years later, and he didn't quite cut it there, either. And just when you think the film may finally go just ends, very abruptly. *1/2 out of 4.