- Jean-Pierre Melville
- Jean-Paul Belmondo, Monique Hennessy
In French, “doulos” refers to a kind of fedora and a police informer: both take center stage in this stylish noir-style thriller set in 1960s Paris. Jean-Paul Belmondo plays the “doulos”—a well-dressed diamond thief who double-crosses fellow criminals. A newly released criminal calls on Belmondo, who sets him up with a safe-cracking job, then turns him in... or so it would seem. Nothing in this New Wave noir thriller is quite as it looks. Working with assistant director Volker Schlöndorff, Melville takes what is best from American noir—the shadows, the costumes, the smokes, the glamour—and infuses it with an existential French sensibility. The twisted plot follows Belmondo and his criminal cohorts through a shadowy world of nightclubs, whisky bars, and deserted streets. The marriage of New Wave aesthetics to the nioir style culminates in a sensational eight-minute police interrogation filmed in a sweeping single take.