Part of a season of French film noir to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the birth of legendary crime author and master of ’argot’ Auguste Le Breton. Get ready for some Rififi !
Recently released from jail, the aging Tony le Stephanois (Jean Servais) is reluctant to return to a life of crime until he discovers that his girlfriend has thrown him over for a rival gangster so agrees to attempt one last job. Together with three collaborators - young father Jo (Carl Mohner), boisterous Franco-Italian Mario (Robert Manuel) and sentimental Milanese safecracker Cesar (played by Jules Dassin under the pseudonym of Perlo Vita) - Tony meticulously engineers his biggest heist yet: robbing the most heavily guarded jeweller in Paris. But when a rival gangster, Pierre Gruter (Marcel Lupovici) finds out about their haul, he stakes a claim to a cut of the take in a most persuasive manner.
Jules Dassin’s second European film after being blacklisted from Hollywood and landmark film noir, Rififi is best known for its celebrated half-hour silent robbery sequence
Du Rififi chez les hommes - trailer (US version)
By Jules Dassin (1955, 118 mins)
Film script by Jules Dassin, René Wheeler and Auguste Le Breton
Based on Auguste Le Breton’s novel
Dialogues : Auguste Le Breton
Cast : Jean Servais, Carl Mohner, Robert Manuel, Perlo Vita, Marie Sabouret, Janine Darcey, Claude Sylvain...
IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
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Screening followed by a discussion with Pierre Fourniaud, General Director of the French publishing house La Manufacture de livres specialising in gangsters’ biographies and crime novels. In 2010 he published a new edition of Le Breton’s “Les Pégriots” (2010) which tells the true story of ‘Jo la terreur’ – one of the latest ‘knights’ of the early 20th century Parisian mob. Les Pégriots will be soon adapted by actor and film director Olivier Marchal (‘36’, ‘MR73’, ‘Braquo’…).
Discussion chaired by Martine Pierquin, Course Organiser and Film Tutor at the University of Edinburgh.
Auguste Le Breton season
Le Breton established himself as an emblematic author with a special insight into the world of French criminal underworld. Close to the Parisian mob, he frequented the bars, gambling dens and gangs of Montmartre and gathered real life experiences which he nourished his novels with. Inventor of the word ‘Rififi’, he is best known for having introduced argot and slang to literature and for the screen adaptations of many of his novels that instantly became noir classics.
Also in this season: