Melville's style is sparse, but precise. The economy of each shot and cut is remarkable for a film that maintains intrigue at over two hours with no more dialogue than needed. Some parts of the plot have to be inferred, but this is a masterful genre parable, inventing a Buddhist idiom and playing with moral codes. All you fans of the strong-and-silent Michael Mann school of action cinema, it comes from a Frenchman.
Saw this uncut in the Philippines, when it was first released. Wonderful. Saw a cut version in the UK on my return. Lamentable.
Saw the full version again some months ago. It is still wonderful. A masterpiece within the crime genre.
For such a sparse film, surprisingly humane in the relationship between the three main criminals (especially the troubled ex-police marksman haunted by a wardrobe of monsters). Excellent turn by Bourvil as the persistent Police chief hunting the trio of thieves.
Great heist movie which drips with style and doesn't allow itself to be hurried. Beautiful little artistic flourishes - the sequence of the lights dimming in the museum to the piano chords...then cut to a man lighting a cigarette for the last chord...my heart leapt.