Le Deuxième Souffle

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.

Le Deuxième Souffle 2

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.




Les aventuriers (1967)

A film by Robert Enrico

Cast: Alain Delon, Lino Ventura, Joanna Shimkus

Here is a beautiful film of friendship and adventure between three characters. One who has the passion of flying planes, the other for drag racing, and the last one that passion of art and it has a surprise at every bend.  Here is Three friends who goes on the last adventure to dive in the ocean in the Congo Africa to get the treasure as in money, diamond, and gold coin that is on the plane in the bottom of the ocean. Yes there are other people looking for it.

This film is beautifully shot in Africa and France as well as the under water photography and a consistent air of fresh reality. The characters are interesting funny and real. Here is Three friends who goes on an adventure to seek a treasure in Africa they are care free and depends on nobody but themselves ha!!! the good old late 60’s those were the days, it didn’t get any better than that. This film is a breath of fresh air here and I think they tried to make a remake in the US but flap big time. Like I said always stick with the original. See this film with a St. Emilion preferably a vintage bottle.


Les aventuriers (1967)



A film by Louis Malle

Cast: Jeanne Moreau, Maurice Ronet, Georges Poujouly, Lino Ventura

English title: Elevator to the Gallows. 

Yes it is cult Thursday and here is a great film noir from Louis Malle and it became a cult film. The  film opens where Jeanne Moreau (Florence) is on the telephone saying” Je t’aime, Je t’aime “ Its set up the film and you know that a murder is going to happen. Florence is a wife of a business man arms dealer Simon Carala (Jean Wall). Her lover, Julien Tavernier (Maurice Ronet), is a paratrooper who served in Indochina and Algeria, in wars that made Carala rich. Julien is about to commit the perfect crime so he thinks. unfortunately shit is going to happen.

Moreau plays Florence not with frantic anxiety, but with a kind of masochistic despair, not expecting to find Julien, well she is the femme fatale here who are usually cold-hearted. Of course while Julien goes on his business there is a parallel story that is going to develop that is the beauty of this film noir. It is new wave cinema here at its best. French cinema abandoned the very formality of the traditional  crime film and decided to experiment with something else. The murder is carefully plan here and Louis Malle has thought out every details possible. The Jazz tunes by Miles Davis play perfectly in each scene here it is amazing to hear that in a film. The light, the cigarette smoking , the shadows, are well filmed. The fact that one of my favorite actor Lino Ventura is in this film makes my day. Do not miss this master piece.

Ascenseur pour l'échafaud



Happy New Year (1973)

A film by Claude Le Louch

Cast: Lino Ventura, Françoise Fabian, Charles Gérard

English title: Happy new year. 

Here is two middle age con artist / robber want to knock off on the Croisette in Cannes France a jewelry store Van Cleef & Arpels from the Carlton Hotel. During the planning for the heist, Simon (Lino Ventura) falls in love with Françoise (Françoise Favian) a  beautiful, intelligent,sensuous  and sophisticated woman who owns an antique shop next to the jewelry store, which later she falls in love with him that’s got to be trouble here, in turn the robbery comes off but not as planned.

I saw that one Twice already within 6 years and i still love it. I love the cars back then and the fact that Lelouch  shot it in Cannes. I remember whenI was a teenager I used go to Nice for vacation and on the weekend we went to Cannes, loved it. The fact that he shot it in 1973 that was cool because in 1973 I was there and i remember the area that is why I saw that twice and the fact that I love the film. The thing is it starts in black and white (It is the present) and goes into color (It is the flashback) and then goes back to Black and white. You see in movie shot in color sometimes the director will do the flashback in Black and white. Not Lelouch he turned it around. Plus there where a special appearance Of Mireille Mathieu ( French singer) and do I love her she was the coolest thing back then. It is a stylish moody and charming film that Lelouch wrote and that is just the few words for now. it is well paced for the American viewers maybe not. French film develop their characters. And the ending well that was perfect.


Happy New Year (1973)



A film by Édouard Molinaro

Cast: Lino Ventura, Jacques Brel, Caroline Cellier

English: The troublemaker

Raf Milan (Lino Ventura) a hit man is at a hotel to do a job at Montpellier week to kill a witness. He check at the hotel. Next door to him is a man who is neurotic and suicidal because his wife left him for a shrink.

Here is a cool film with one on my favorite actor Lino Ventura. The thing is the story has been rewritten as What about bob?  (1991) the American film by Frank Oz. You see In what about Bob a shrink is followed by his neurotic patient who fear everything he cannot go out of his apartment because he is afraid. There In L’emmerdeur here is a hit man xho has to do his job but the dude next door wants to die so he hangs himself and not very good at it because trouble for Raf because the dude is now following raf every where. Nothing wrong with that it works. Now back to the film you have raf the hit man who François Pignon played by Jacques Brel is getting on everyone’s neves especially the one from Raf who is trying to do his job. When Pignon tries suicide and fails miserably because he tried to hang himself on the pipe of the water heater and it broke a series of misadventure is going to follows that will drive Raf crazy. It has become a classic. It is written by Francis Weber who has written many classic comedy like Le grand blond (I have to see that one again) La cage aux follies, La chèvre,…. He also became a director. This is a terrific comedy I got in on DVD and it comes with english subtitle so I have noticed I don’t need them anyway. Have fun with this one. It has been remade in 2008 with little success don’t bother with the remake, stick with the original.



In French only. 

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A film by Henri Verneuil
Cast:  Jean-Paul BelmondoLino VenturaReginald Kernan . 

Rocco (Jean Paul Belmondo) and his fiancé steals a truck from a trucking company where Rocco works. Castigliano ( Gert Fobe) hires Rocco’s friend, Hervé and a newly employed German, Hans to go after him and bring back the valuable goods. But Hervé keep getting into trouble and a another truck driven by Mitch and Khenouche bail them out every time. 
This is like a western in Morocco where the film was shot ,great scenery shot and the fight was well choreograph and edited. There is a bit of everything in this film fight, truck stunts that was well done by the way, beautiful women, fighting, drinking, comedy, action welcome to a Henry Verneuil film, And screenplay and dialog by Michel Audiart, with some great one liner like “When 250 lbs men talk 130 lbs men listen.  enjoy this one. 



A film by Jack Gold.
Cast: Richard Burton, Lee Remick, Lino Ventura.
John Morlar is watching the British television broadcast when an anchorman states that American astronauts are trapped in orbit around the moon. Suddenly someone in Morlar’s (Richard Burton) room picks up a figurine and strikes him on the head repeatedly. A French police inspector,(Lino Ventura) Brunel, arrives at Morlar’s apartment to begin an investigation. At first he thinks Morlar is dead, but soon he hears him breathe. At the hospital, Morlar is hooked up to life support systems, one machine in particular monitors the activity of his battered brain. as Brunel goes on to investigate further and talk to the psychiatrist that Morlar was seen he concluded that Morlar has been in psychological analysis because of his history of being witness to many disasters, other people’s disasters. Dr. Zonfeld,(, explains that Morlar’s delusions had begun when he was a child. although Morlar who is in the hospital has an agenda of his own. will they able to stop him in time? The Medusa Touch is the fantastic story of a middle age English man tormented by the terrifying revelation, he is responsible for the the world’s disasters. Richard Burton gives an impressive performance as writer John Morlar, who is brutally murdered and left for dead. uble is, his mind refuses to die. Convinced, from a young age, Morlar believes he has had the power to cause personal as well as world catastrophes, and he proves his point I won’t tell you how. The film is a master piece with some great visual effects followed by a cool haunting musical. score. A great classic.


A film by Denys de La Patellière.
Cast: Hardy Krüger, Lino Ventura, Maurice Biraut.
Story takes place during 1942 in the Libyan desert at the crucial battle in El Alamein, when the British finally defeated the German “Afrikakorps”. But this is a French movie so it deals with the Free French troops who were fighting alongside the British. During a raid on a German supply dump, the French CO gets killed and the remaining members of the squad have to make their way back to friendly lines. Their truck stops working and can’t go no further. They continue on foot in the hot desert when suddenly they heard music, they see 4 German soldier eating and drinking. in order to survive they kill the 4 German soldier but did not foresee that they were 5 soldier. With one prisoner they continue their ride. Maurice Biraud as doctor of the group ; the singer Charles Aznavour is a Jew-French and Hardy Kruger as an intelligent Nazi captain who lived longtime in Paris. They go though land mine field and even infiltrate for a while a German troops to reload with fuel and food. Maurice Biraud as doctor of the group ; the singer Charles Aznavour is a Jew-French and Hardy Kruger as an intelligent Nazi captain who lived l in Paris for a couple of years. The film was shot in Spain due to problems and complications in Africa and it was not safe to shoot there. The ending is great they would of stop at where Ventura screams hey! guys where are you guys? and end it there but Gaumont pictures would not have it so they put some more footage in it. That is why Denys de La Patellière did not make an other pictures with Gaumont. The dialogue are from Michel Audiard. Great classic film. One of the top 5 grossing movie of its year in France. Lino Ventura (Theo Dumas or Dudu) is presented as a boxing champion of Europe at the beginning of the movie. He was actually champion of Europe of Greco-Roman wrestling in 1950.


A film by José Giovanni.

Cast: Lino Ventura, Marlène Jobert, Michel Constantin
english title: Last known Address.
Police inspector Léonetti, a tough, efficient policeman, has been sent to a commissariat after being reprimanded. He team up with a women beautiful Jeanne Dumas. They are given a impossible task to find a witness to a murder, which the police has not find him for about 5 years. They go on a treasure hunt for this individual, obstacle after obstacle, they finally get there, but at what cost.
I love those old film specially film in Paris France, now that I am in Paris I know where exactly what street they shot the is film a lot has change since then. Nice film from Giovanni, nice paced. Léonettu (Lino Ventura) is tough, battered by life and human, Dumas (Marlene Jobert) is beautiful, fragile and naive. She is the rookie here and gets exited every time they get closer. Ventura plays the father figure toward her. Very well acted with a nice script. The chemistry between the 2 is very nice. Michel Constantin plays the bad guy in this one. There is a scene where Ventura is getting beat up to a pulp and does pretty well until Constantin gets to the scene. Here is a nice little film tat you will enjoy.



A film by Jacques Deray.
Cast: Lino Ventura, Claudine Auger, Paul Crauchet.
English title: A butterfly on the shoulder.
The film opens a Man goes to his hotel in Barcelona. He discover the man next door to him dead only to wake up in a mental institution hours later. A suspicious doctor is there and a not so right nurse too Rolabd Fériaud (Lino Ventura) takes a little tour of the place and goes in the room of a patient the only patient there who talks to a imaginary butterfly on his shoulder. The doctor tells him about a brief case that Roland had mentioned in his dreamed, but he does’t remember it. When he leaves the mental institution he gets back to his hotel hear a conversation with the concierge and the man’s wife who has been killed Roland tells her to go to the police. He than goes to his room or tries too when he goes to another room he find a dead man there only to find the phone that ring and a woman voice tell him to get out of there. He does gets in her car and goes to a bistro when she mentioned the brief case.By now the get the point and he does’t know what she is talking about. Great acting and cast here is a man who goes to Barcelona like he does every year and gets in something he does’t not understand. You think you know the ending and boom you go What?