Du Rififi Chez les Hommes (Rififi) Reviews
The plot is pretty standard for this type of film: criminal gets out of jail, gets involved in a lucrative score. All seems perfect, and starts off that way, but thigns fall apart, and all hell breaks loose. Much of this film (either plot or certain elements) has turned up in places such as Heat, Mission: Impossible, and the Ocean's trilogy, among others. Sometimes it is just as homage or reference, other times it seems like theft *cue rimshot*.
This is just some incredibly thrilling and well done stuff. One sequence that is often mentioned is the film's centerpiece: the heist scene. It is roughly a half hour long, and nearly silent (no talking or music, but some occasional sound). Doing things this way really adds to the atmosphere and builds up the suspense and tension to an almost unbearable level.
The final portion of the film involves the fallout of the job, and, for its time, some of this must have seemed rather violent and shocking. Nowadays, not so much, but it's still pretty engaging stuff.
A remake of this has been planend for quite some time, and, if it ever gets made, it could be good, but regardless, do yourself a favor and check this one out. It's truly a marvelous and masterful film.
and for those who don't know, dassin wasn't a french filmmaker at all. he was born in connecticut of russian-jewish parents and grew up in harlem. he moved to europe after being blacklisted in 1950 during production of night and the city. did hollywood learn nothing from the pathetic 1992 remake of that film with robert de niro? gah!!!!!!
Jean Servais plays the brooding, lonely main character. He brings the brilliance into the scheme; he's a tortured, experienced criminal who is just out of jail. He is constantly quiet, keeps his motives secret, and conceals with zeal his weak points. Above all, he is the anti hero who redeems himself at the end, if such word as "redemption" can apply. He and his French friend, whose son is his godson, and two Italian thieves -one of which is an expert safebox breaker- begin to plan a 20 million Francs robbery at a jewelry store. During the first half of the film, the group is shown in painstaking observation and evaluation of the routine in and an around the store. Finally, the night comes to execute the plan, and this develops into one of the most fascinating, maybe even exquisite, robbery scenes I have ever seen. For many minutes there is hardly a sound, except perhaps that of the rest of the audience in the theater, hearts beating or nervous breathing. It is wonderfully hypnotizing and mortifying, filmed with such precision and style that it immediately produces admiration. I think that to any film lover this will be close to an ecstatic experience.
Technical perfection is not the sole, dominant aspect of Rififi. The four main characters are very well outlined and very well acted; Jean Servais is as archtypical a noir leading man as there ever was in American cinema. Together they embody the carelessness of having nothing to lose, the fierceness of wanting to win everything, and the sadness that such emptiness must helplessly imply. There are also the gloomy, atmospheric shots in the streets of Paris to set the mood, and provide background for the twists and turns of the plot. With a clear narrative style, Rififi successfuly incorporates fragmented scenes, composed of angular takes against the sky and roads of Paris, in a way that reminded me very much of later New Wave films.
It is not only a thrilling, suspenseful "action" film, but Du Rififi Chez les Hommes is also a complex drama and styllistic gem. It has violence, humor, sex, and crimes that do not go unpunished. One of those films that really seem to come full circle and satisfy not only us, but themselves.
A brilliant film noir, about four men pulling off a heist and the aftermath of the event. Made in 1954, this is one of the first caper films and one of the most immitated. You can easily see references made in films like Reservoir Dogs, Ocean's 11, The Score, and many others.
Directed by Jules Dassin who, at that time, had been blacklisted from Hollywood, creates a great film, set in France with a great attention to detail.
The film centers on a man who has just been released from jail for robbery, only to join another group of men for another heist.
The heist takes place around the middle of the film. It is a 30 minute sequence, with no score or dialogue, comprised only of breathing and various noises from the setting. Its a great sequence to watch.
The rest of the film is equally well done, with the various characters all given a good amount of depth.
The tone of the film is very dark. There is a lot of violence and bloodshed. This is a film about criminals, and the film isn't afraid to show a certain level of realism concerning that topic.
As the story unfolds, especially after the heist, I was more and more engrossed in what was going to happen.
It also looks great. France is shown in such a dark way, while being captured beautifully.
The interaction between characters is well done, with a mix of humorous, cold, and witty lines exchanged constantly.
The whole film is so well done, it is easily one of the best all time noirs.
Quite possibly yes!
This belongs on (if not at the top of) a list of movies made before their time. From the painstakingly created low-tech but inventive heist to the brilliantly brutal events that follow, Jules Dassin, created a classic crime drama here that clearly inspired countless writers and directors in the decades since it first appeared.