A film by Jean Pierre Melville
Cast: Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Raymond Pellegrin
Three men escaped from Castres prison, including Gustave (Lino Ventura) , known as Gu, who had just spent eight years there. Commissioner Blot (Paul Meurisse) is on their tale while a hold-up is organized …
Yes I was watching tv and bang on Arte my favourite channel this film of 2 hours and 30 minutes comes on and for the second time I am seeing this film, and a great film it is . The title translate as the second breath. The Ricci family dominates the underworld, Headed by Paul (Raymond Pellegrin), in Marseille and Jo (Marcel Bozzufi) has his bar in Paris. Manouche (Christine Fabréga), a classy dame who is Gu’s sister. Now Gu has to hide from the cops that are on his tail. In the meantime a hole up is being set up and they need a fourth guy.
Jean-Pierre Melville here adapted the novel of José Giovanni in this case Melville is not interested in realism however the book was it was from a real gangster but Melville here invented a character for his film named Gu. Here is Paul Meurisse who wanted to play in this film but wanted his character to be as smart and a wit because Paul was smart as a wit. I love the scene in the club after the shooting where Commissioner Blot (Paul Meurisse) tells them how it happened and who did what. It is so written for Meurisse no doubt. In every film noir there are betrayal and honor but Melville here avoid the clichés . You have everything in this film shooting, robbing an armored truck, Gangsters hiding out, betrayal more shooting, a beautiful dame, whiskey, cigarette smoking a must in film noir back then, two dancing girls number . Melville was crazy about cinema from all over the world especially American cinema. He has done only 16 films before he passed on to the next life. I hope you enjoy this one as I did.