LES GRANDES GUEULES (1966)

Hector Valentin (Bourvil) returns to France from Canada when he inherits a small sawmill. He has difficulties restarting the run-down operation which has inefficient workers and is hampered by the dirty tactics of its bigger, wealthier neighbor. Laurent (Lino Ventura) is an ex-con who is seeking revenge on the man who ratted him out, and is himself finishing got out of prison. He talks Hector into participating in a work program for paroled felons, and arranges for his target to be in the group of convicts sent to work at the sawmill. He hopes that the facility’s isolation will provide him with an opportunity for murder. However the man’s parole is delayed and he doesn’t show up with the rest of the workers. Will Laurent’s target be coming? You have just to watch the movie. Lino Ventura, as usual, a very forceful personality, and Bourvil, for once, is not in a comic capacity, two people from worlds apart and yet they come to form this unexpected and unlikely friendship because ultimately, they are the Good Guys in a world full with “model citizens” performing dirty tricks. The film is dynamic, it leaves you breathless. The sawmill seen on the screen was rebuilt on the site of Cellet after its owner – just like Bourvil in the story – set fire to it, then burnt down again for the final scenes.

UN FLIC (1972)

Parisian police commissioner Coleman (Alain Delon) is not a happy man, but he does what he can to get through each day. He has recently started having an affair with Cathy (Catherine Deneuve), and that helps a little. Cathy is also Simon’s girlfriend and Simon (Richard Crenna) is Coleman’s friend. Unfortunately, Simon is also the head of a gang of criminals. When Coleman’s investigation of a drug-smuggling ring closes in, their rivalry comes to a head. This was Jean-Pierre Melville last film. While Alain Delon’s character, Commissaire Coleman, examines a crime scene, we see a brief shot of a wall on which are inscribed several names including the one of his character in one of his previous collaborations with Jean-Pierre Melville: Jef Costello, the “hero” of the Le Samouraï. The opening shot closely resembles Hokusai’s famous woodcut “The Wave”. By the way Richard Crenna is in the film.

MAIGRET ET L’AFFAIRE SAINT-FIACRE (1959)

Inspector Maigret is traveling to the French countryside to visit his friend, the duchess of Saint-Fiacre. She has received a letter recently stating that she will die soon. A few days later she does so by an heart attack, but Maigret does not believe in this. The climax of the movie is the final diner. Of course Inspector Maigret is played by Jean Gabin. movie made from the Novel by Georges Simenon.

A BOUT DE SOUFFLE (1960)

There was before Breathless, and there was after Breathless. Jean-Luc Godard burst onto the film scene in 1960 with this jazzy, free-form, and sexy homage to the American film genres that inspired him as a writer for Cahiers du cinéma. With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, anything-goes crime narrative, and effervescent young stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, Breathless helped launch the French New Wave and ensured cinema would never be the same. Michel Poiccard, an irresponsible sociopath and small-time thief, steals a car and impulsively murders the motorcycle policeman who pursues him. Now wanted by the authorities, he renews his relationship with Patricia Franchini, a hip American girl studying journalism at the Sorbonne, whom he had met in Nice a few weeks earlier. Before leaving Paris, he plans to collect a debt from an underworld acquaintance and expects her to accompany him on his planned getaway to Italy. Even with his face in the local papers and media, Poiccard seems oblivious to the dragnet that is slowly closing around him as he recklessly pursues his love of American movies and libidinous interest in the beautiful American. Despite reports to the contrary, Jean-Luc Godard did not shoot the film without a script; however, he did not have a finished script at the beginning, instead writing scenes in the morning and filming them that day. See also Pierrot le Fou. To give a more detached, spontaneous quality, Jean-Luc Godard fed the actors their lines as scenes were being filmed. Director Jean-Luc Godard couldn’t afford a dolly, so he pushed the cinematographer around in a wheelchair through many scenes of the film. He got the idea from Jean-Pierre Melville, who had used the same low-budget technique in Bob le Flambeur and Le silence de la mer. According to Jean-Pierre Melville, Godard asked him for consultation during the post-production stage because the first edit was too long for distribution. Melville suggested Godard remove all scenes that slowed down the action (his own turn as novelist Parvulesco included). But instead of excluding entire scenes, Godard cut little bits from here and there. This led to the “jump cut” technique this movie introduced. Melville declared the result to be excellent. The character of Michel Poiccard uses the name Laszlo Kovacs as an alias. It is often wrongly assumed this was an homage to the cinematographer of the same name: the film was made long before Kovacs established himself in the movie industry. It was actually a reference to the character played by Jean-Paul Belmondo in Claude Chabrol’s Leda, earlier the same year. Jean-Paul Belmondo was very surprised by the warm reception the film received. Immediately after production he was convinced it was so bad that he thought the film would never be released.

AU DELA DES GRILLES (1949)

Coming just after “les maudits” ,perhaps René Clément’s best film -and of course totally overlooked-,”Le mura di Palapaga” aka “Au-delà des Grilles” displays the same respect for the audience as far the languages are concerned.Italians speak Italian between them,and Gabin speaks French with Isa Miranda.There the comparison ends. For “Au Delà-des Grilles” highly praised at the time, lauded far beyond its station,and awarded at the Festival de Cannes for best director and best actress Isa Miranda .The screenplay borrows lots of ideas from “Pépé le Moko” ,Duvivier’s masterpiece (1937) and the atmosphere tries to capture that of the Italian neo-realism .Gabin has played this kind of role of the good-guy-with-policemen-hot-on-his-heels many times before ;outside “Pepe” there ‘s also “La Bandera” “Quai des Brumes” “Le Recif de Corail” ,etc.Isa Miranda is the stand-out and does a wonderfull job in this film .Try to see “les Maudits”! it has won an oscar for best foreign film also got awards on venice et lion d’or for best picture also.

TONTON LES FLINGERS (1963)

 

 

Ex-gangster Fernand (Lino Ventura) receives a call from a dying friend, a mob boss nicknamed “The Mexican”. The doomed mobster talks Fernand into taking care of some criminal business and looking after his soon-to-be-married daughter. When a longtime mobster heavy, Volfoni takes exception to Fernand for being an outsider, they come after Fernand who is equal to the task. He defends himself in a series of comical killings from the onslaught of the mob. Valued for Audiard’s dialogue and the acting of the whole ensemble: you will still find French people able to quote huge chunks of the dialogue, and to remember the detail of performances by Ventura, Blier et al. [Paul Meurisse] The guy with the monocle saluting Lino Ventura at the end of the movie is Paul Meurisse, a reference to the Movie _Le Monocle noir_ also by Georges Lautner. Without the linguistic knowledge to appreciate the subtlety of the vulgar French, or the cinematic knowledge to appreciate the nuances in the performance of the actors, I doubt if this film is accessible to an international audience, which is as it should be. There is a part of all national film cultures that is precious because it is particular.

FACES (1968)

An old married man leaves his wife for a younger woman. Shortly after, his ex-wife also begins a relationship with a younger partner. The film follows their struggles to find love amongst each other. Steve Buscemi’s favorite movie, declared by himself. Probably one of the first films in cinema history to talk openly about cunnilingus.
While filming a part on Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, John Cassavetes saw Steven Spielberg lurking around the set, as he was then in the habit of doing. Cassavetes approached Spielberg and asked what he wanted to be. When Spielberg replied he wanted to be a director, Cassavetes allowed the young man to direct him for the day. He later invited Spielberg to work on this film (Faces), Spielberg serving as an uncredited production assistant for two weeks. Shot in John Cassavetes’s home.

 

LES DIABOLIQUES (1955)

 

A film by Henri-Georges Clouzot

Cast: Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse

Les Diaboliques is a mystery thriller from French director Henri-Georges Clouzot about a triangle relationship that leads to murder.The wife of a cruel headmaster and his mistress conspire to kill him, but after the murder is committed his body disappears, and strange events begin to plague the two women. The film is based on Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac’s novel “Celle qui n’était plus” (She Who Was No More). Alfred Hitchcock also attempted to buy the rights to this novel; Boileau and Narcejac subsequently wrote “D’Entre les Morts” (From Among the Dead) especially for Hitchcock, who filmed it as Vertigo. When director Henri-Georges Clouzot bought the film rights to the original novel, he reportedly beat Alfred Hitchcock by only a matter of hours. (In fact, Clouzot was occasionally referred to as “the French Hitchcock.”) Unlike many noir thrillers, Diabolique uses as much time to refine its characters as to develop the plot. By never pushing the film’s more contrived aspects to an excess, Clouzot crafts a gripping, chillingly believable scenario. It is by far one of the greatest movie ever made.

Clouzot here has created a double-reverse plot that keep the audience guessing right up to the thoroughly the final scene. A hard thing to do. At first you see bunch of student going to school and going about their schooling in everyday life but it is not the plot here it is the set up that is going to build the plot and the tension later on. A body disappear not only it is the plot who starts here but it is where you are going to pay attention. Inspector Fichet (Charles Vanel), who figures out everything and he is in place to prevent it but waits too long. Fichet is Columbo; Falk added a squint, a dirtier raincoat and more humor. Signoret here shine and plays it like Marilyn Monroe. The film is fun to watch and it is done in a whodunit format. After seeing this film you might be afraid to take a bath but after seeing Psycho  you might be afraid to take a shower. See this film while drinking a good Bordeaux.

diabolique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BANDE A PART (1964)

Two crooks with a fondness for old Hollywood B-movies convince a languages student to help them commit a robbery. The alienated young trio is marvelous, particularly Anna Karina, and the early scenes of their clearly overdeveloped fantasy lives are splendidly handled. he alienated young trio is marvelous, particularly Anna Karina, and the early scenes of their clearly overdeveloped fantasy lives are splendidly handled. With this film Godard returned to the (petty) crime genre and his fascination with American pop culture. When naive Odile tells them she lives in a house where a large amount of money is cached, their imagination runs wild. Fantasizing and discussing Hollywood B-movies and pulp literature, they decide to rob the house with the help of Odile. But this one generally is an entertaining and insightful film, with the dancing sequence in the bar justly memorable, as is the 9-minute tour of the Louvre. This one is my favorite of Jean-Luck Goddard. Still, essential for movie buffs. Godard even credited himself as Jean-Luc “Cinema” Godard. Quentin Tarantino paid tribute to this film naming his production company A Band Apart.

LE DOULOS (1962)

Confusion and wrong assumptions are the cause of tragedy in this stylish gangster noir by director Jean-Pierre Melville. Burglar Maurice Faugel has just finished his sentence. He murders Gilbert Vanovre, a receiver, and steals the loot of a break-in. He is also preparing a house-breaking, and his friend Silien brings him the needed equipment. But Silien is a police informer ..French director Jean-Pierre Melville, who died in 1973, has become something of a posthumous art-house sensation in the U.S. over the past decade off the new-print revivals of his film-noir classics, “Bob Le Flambeur” (1956), “Le Samurai” (1967), “Army of Shadows” (1969) and “Le Cercle Rouge” (1970). The return of the 1962 gangster classic “Les Doulos” should continue that streak. The movie is a tough, stylish, deliciously complex labyrinth of underworld double-crosses that, like most of the other Melville noirs, ultimately celebrates honor among thieves. I love this one. see it now On neflix.