After hiding out in Milan for nearly a decade, fugitive gangland chief Abel Davos (Lino Ventura) sneaks back to Paris with his children despite a death sentence hanging over his head. Accompanied by appointed guardian Eric Stark (Jean-Paul Belmondo, fresh off his star turn in Breathless_) and beset by backstabbing former friends, Abel begins a journey through the postwar Parisian underworld that’s both throat grabbing and soul searching. A character study of a career criminal at the end of his rope, this rugged noir from Claude Sautet (_Un coeur en hiver) is a thrilling highlight of sixties French cinema. —The Criterion Collection
Born in Montrouge, Hauts-de-Seine, France, Claude Sautet first studied painting and sculpture before attending a film university in Paris where he began his career and later became a television producer. He filmed his first movie Bonjour Sourire in 1955.
He earned international attention with Les Choses de la Vie (1969), which he wrote and directed, like the rest of his later films. It was shown in competition at the 1970 Cannes Festival, where it received enthusiastic reception. The film also revived Romy Schneider’s career, who played in many of Sautet’s later films. In Max et les Ferrailleurs (1971) she played a prostitute, while in César et Rosalie (1972) she portrayed a married woman whose former lover returns into her life.
Vincent, Paul, François, et les Autres (1974), is one of Sautet’s most acclaimed films. Four middle-class men meet in the country every weekend mainly to discuss their lives. The film featured a cast of major stars of French cinema such as Michel… read more