- Jules Dassin
- Jean Servais, Carl Mohner, Robert Manuel
When the low-budget heist flick Rififi was released in 1955, Francois Truffaut raved, “Jules Dassin has made the best film noir I have ever seen.” Audiences agreed, making this stylish thriller an international smash hit, winning the best picture prize at the Cannes Film Festival. A down-and-out gangster (Servais) joins up with his old partner, an Italian pimp and a suave safecracker (played by the director himself) for one last score. The 35-minute robbery sequence, a nerve-wracking tour de force in which not a word is spoken, is one of the triumphs of Dassin’s career, and the ultimate undoing of the gangsters by an informer echoes his own Hollywood blacklisting. The gritty, downbeat masterpiece was a favorite of the young Quentin Tarantino and countless other filmmakers who have borrowed from Dassin’s sophisticated naturalism. The restored version makes the stylish black-and-white look better than ever, and its retranslated subtitles feature tough-guy classics like, “Bonjour kid, sit your moneymaker down.” In French, Italian and English with English subtitles.