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Le Doulos

Le Doulos (1962)



Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 2,526

My Rating

Movie Info

Confusion and wrong assumptions are the cause of tragedy in this stylish gangster noir by director Jean-Pierre Melville. Maurice (Serge Reggiani) and Silien (Jean-Paul Belmondo) are friends going way back, and both have had a shady past. Silien wants to leave his illegal activities behind him -- but would he actually be in league with the police, as an informer? That is what Maurice suspects after he kills a fence who is responsible for the murder of one of his friends and then takes some jewels

Oct 7, 2008

Rialto Pictures

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All Critics (23) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (1) | DVD (11)

As good as Melville's setups are, the joys of the movie keep returning to Belmondo, then and now the king of effortless cool.

October 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A tour de force.

September 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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Even back in 1962, Melville made the usual suspects feel new by wrapping them in gorgeous desolation.

July 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
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A cool, classy treat.

June 29, 2007 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger
Newark Star-Ledger
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A slippery, gripping cops-and-robbers thriller, full of twists and turns and ending with a tragicomic shootout you'll never forget.

June 27, 2007 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Few films have focused so intently on proper underworld etiquette.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Möbius strip of noir ambiguity, as hard and shivery and tortuous as can be

May 19, 2014 Full Review Source: CinePassion

Le Doulos roots itself in traditional noir themes of providence, of loyalty and betrayal, of male codes of honor, and ultimately of man's inability to escape his lot in life.

October 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

The macho criminal underworld of French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Melville has a nasty, nearly misogynistic edge here...

February 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)

Even if you're not a fan of this sort of narrative trickery, it must be said that Le Doulos is simply a hell of a thriller ...

September 12, 2007
Los Angeles CityBeat

The movie is a tough, stylish, deliciously complex labyrinth of underworld double-crosses that, like most of the other Melville noirs, ultimately celebrates honor among thieves.

September 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Melville is a mythmaker. His characters are archetypes of the cinema, specifically American cinema, though his outlook is unmistakably French, tinged with romanticism.

August 29, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Melville's complete absorption of American crime movies is on full display in Le Doulos, but the film never feels like a French version of an American movie.

June 4, 2004 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

It's a dark post-noir thriller enhanced by superb performances and sparkling black and white cinematography.

May 12, 2004 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Another classic entry in the Melville Gallic noir canon, immaculately realised and bolstered by the strong presence of Belmondo.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4

It is one of the director's very best films.

March 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for Le Doulos

Terrific 'stylized' French noir! (Does anyone else think that Serge Reggiani looks like Mr. Bean?)
January 20, 2012
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

easily one of the most gripping and fulfilling films i have ever seen. the film has enough twists to fill a lifetime, shifting the direction of the characters so often to keep one glued to the story but no too often so as to confuse. a perfect blend of mystery and suspense with noir like lighting and style. one of the best crime dramas ever produced.
March 24, 2009
danny d

Super Reviewer

a fantastic heist film and the best melville i've seen to date. it's right up there with rififi and the asphalt jungle in my book. jean paul belmondo is tres cool and i never could tell which way it would turn. in beautiful black & white, simply stunning
April 1, 2008
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

This brilliant French film noir is one of Jean-Pierre Melville's explorations of underworld codes of honour. A disorientating examination of duplicity and false appearances, the relationships of the characters are never quite what they seem. This is exemplified by Jean-Paul Belmondo's Silien, who is dazzlingly transformed from one of the most devious, double-crossing villains of the entire film noir genre into one of its most selfless heroes, simply by Melville's clever elucidation of the true nature of the betrayal. My only criticism of the movie is that, because we find out so late in the day of Silien's struggle to reconcile his twin loyalties--to a police detective and an underworld associate: his two best friends--a fascinating aspect of the plot is downplayed in favour of the stunning but shallow twist aforementioned. Beautifully shot in black and white. As ever with Melville, don't expect a happy ending.
February 17, 2008

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Der Teufel mit der weißen Weste (DE)
  • The Finger Man (Le Doulos) (UK)
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