Le Deuxième souffle (Second Breath) - Rotten Tomatoes

Le Deuxième souffle (Second Breath) (1966)

Le Deuxième souffle (Second Breath)


No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...


Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Veteran gangster Gustave (Lino Ventura) escapes from prison to find his sister is being blackmailed by some petty thugs in this crime thriller. He plans one last caper to steal enough money in hopes of retiring to a tropical paradise. He and his gang are sought by a detective (Paul Meurisse), the cop who plays by the book and avoids the sadistic torture practiced by his less-honorable cohorts. Soon Gustave is caught between the police and the double-crossing gangsters and discovers too late that … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 7, 2008


as Gustave Minda

as Inspector Blot

as Fardiano
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Le Deuxième souffle (Second Breath)

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (3)

A labyrinthine exploration of loyalties and betrayals in the French underworld.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It isn't an easy film to watch, perhaps because it moves so deliberately in comparison to its American models, but this somber, repressive, and perverse work displays a ferocious moral and formal integrity.

Full Review… | September 16, 2003
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

superbly restrained

Full Review… | November 18, 2008

Le Deuxieme Souffle is at heart a romantic fantasy of underworld loyalty and lives of calculated risk and violence anchored by brilliantly staged and shot set pieces...

Full Review… | November 1, 2008
Turner Classic Movies Online

Characteristic of Melville's crime canon, the film's rigorously mannered aesthetic creates a decidedly artificial environment, and yet that environment is so meticulously, thoroughly realized that it's breathtakingly immersive.

Full Review… | October 6, 2008
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Le Deuxième souffle (Second Breath)

this is definitely one of those hiest films that needs to be seen more than once. the film bears the usual complexity of a melville creation, but with sometimes the lack of clarity of the few films he made that rank slightly higher than this one. the only downside to the film is the early overuse of the macguffin tactic, but overall the final 90 minutes of the film come together impressively to create the brilliance of a film i know i will rewatch many times. the hiest sequence was among the best in film history, and with some slight choice differences early on this film could have flirted with masterpiece status.

danny d

Super Reviewer


this is just the kind of stuff i love. melville's earlier films are more gritty and realistic than the highly stylized stuff he made later and this was made one year before le samourai. and it may be the best melville i've seen yet. i know a 2 1/2 hour long heist film doesn't do it for everyone but this is outstanding and criminally underseen judging by flixster ratings. one of the few french films to really rival the classic american films in this genre

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


Well worth seeing, but overlong. And the directing style is so dry and flat -- scarcely even any score to enliven the action -- that it further aggravates the viewer's impatience. I prefer a few other Melville films (Le Doulos, Le Samourai, Le Cercle Rouge) over this one.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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