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123 Ratings

The Law

La loi

Directed by Jules Dassin
France, Italy, 1959
Drama, Crime


A virginal village girl (Gina Lollobrigida), lusted after by many men but with desires of her own, turns the tables on her pursuers.

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The Law Directed by Jules Dassin

Critics reviews

Montand was the superstar draw, but more interesting now is to see Mastroianni’s burgeoning charm. Lollobrigida is all determination and low-cut dresses, and the film is surprisingly kind to her. The Law was released in the US as Where the Hot Wind Blows, a much more evocative title that gets to the sweaty, lusty heart of the film. It’s a perfect summer film—close your eyes and you can almost feel the ocean breeze that blows through the trees, even if it’s actually the MoMA air conditioning.
June 30, 2017
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It is this strange, digressive looseness that makes The Law such an appealing find, as though all these genres are cards in a deck that Dassin keeps shuffling. It’s a strange “whatzit,” a curio by definition, mixing and matching tones to offer moments of levity, violence, music, tragedy, and most of all, theater. For a director known for filming on the streets of New York or London or San Francisco, The Law finds him moving from rawness towards the pleasures of artifice.
December 23, 2015
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A few scenes of singing and dancing point to the direction it should have taken – a sort of modern Harlequin and Columbine. Once again, alas, our Jules, believing himself to be Hercules, took himself seriously and plunged on the contrary into Melina-melodrama. The result, of course, is not one good shot in two hours of film. Mastroianni hams horribly. Pierre Brasseur is half asleep, and Montand I have seen better.
March 01, 1959

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