Some people complain about the fact that he wasn't such a swift hitman, but that is part of the dilemma of the character. Long-lasting loneliness has made him short-sighted and mentally imperfect for the job, even if still proficient. Doesn't the first scene and "quote" (and signs through the film) show that he's become less a samurai for quasi-perfect skills and resolution than for emotional/psychological isolation?
A classic of both cinematic cool and suppressed emotion, and still one of the best of its kind because it understands how closely the two are tied together. Delon is the perfect fallen angel in a story with very few incidents and a character arc that is barely made explicit, except to suggest that the only thing that can stop a killer is beauty and mercy. Pure movie mythology, sure—but as movie myths go, timeless.
35mm, rewatched in DCP. I only managed to rewatch the final 80 minutes of this movie which is one of the best examples of sound in cinema. Although the out-of-field does not exist in the same way, the closest cinema one can find to Melville, a previous and contemporary one, is Bresson's listening rigor, where sound is a matter as important as imagery. Besides the camera's mastery- the subway sequence is unparalleled.
This is the first time I watched a movie from director Jean-Pierre Melville. Watching LE SAMOURAÏ is like watching "How to Make a Great Film in 105 Minutes Only". Only a "Master" who can make such a brilliant movie. LE SAMOURAÏ teached a lot about filmmaking stuff. From storyline development, characterization, cinematography, et cetera. I'm a straight guy. But I must admit that Alain Delon is a handsome man. CLASSIC!