This is the first film by Becker I've seen, there will be more, thanks to MUBI's triple presentation. One of the great gangster films, beautifully shot in s <french Noir style that has hints of New Wave to come. Jean Gabin and Jeane Moreau are excellent, but so is the entire cast
3.5 Great to see a film with older men as gangsters. Gabin and his cronies reminded me of my grandfather's generation: sharp dressers, compact body types, imposing commanders of their personal fiefdoms. Plus the unspoken rule that certain business was not to be discussed in front of women. It was a disturbing environment to be in as a child, and I am glad that gender constructs have changed.
I'm a sucker for anything with Jeanne Moreau. If you're able to overlook the ugly treatment of women in the film as a relic of the past (or not), there are some lovely sequences filmed in natural light. Becker is quite clever with his use of diegetic sound, and Betty's amazing dress with the extended shoulders stood out amongst a number of incredible wardrobe pieces.
The last remnants of sexual potency, male virility, youthful ferocity: watch the gestural juxtaposition between Gabin's movements & the movements of the younger generations. Gabin fondles women's breasts, & the viewers might feel repelled if it weren't unquestionably certain that these gestures are final remnants of possibility, an anticipation of the void. Jacques Becker's great work about the autumn of one's life.
1950s France must have been overwhelmingly decorous: full of cigarette smoke, three-piece-suits, champagne for lunch, and some of the slickest, most polite gangsters. After a night on the lam they retire with striped pajamas - after torture, the victim carries your loot. It was probably in black and white too. I certainly hope so. Becker and Gabin certainly make this one of the most attractive gangster films ever.
i should say, it is a gorgeos ultra cool gangster movie, i love melville films, but i can't say no to this flick. with the last heist background, and without showing to much info about it, in the opening i didn't even realise they did the last heist before, and that was great. plus lino ventura is creepy here, gotta honest, masterpiece.