Bob le Flambeur


Bob le Flambeur

Critics Consensus

Majorly stylish, Bob le Flambeur is a cool homage to American gangster films and the presage to French New Wave mode of seeing.



Total Count: 31


Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,190
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Movie Info

Both a tribute to classic American gangster films and the source of inspiration for French New Wave filmmakers, Bob le Flambeur is the first in a series of stylish noirs that Jean-Pierre Melville started in the mid-'50s. Co-scripted by the popular crime writer Auguste Le Breton (Rififi), this is a story of ex-bank robber and compulsive gambler Bob (Roger Duchesne), who plans a heist at the Deauville casino. As in many films of that genre, he assembles a team of old friends and new acquaintances to do the job and is determined to perform it despite all the odds that continue to pile up before him. The overall tone is admirably lighthearted, however, and despite many stylistic and thematic references to American caper movies, the whole enterprise remains genuinely French. "This is a kind of film that we want to make!" exclaimed the young and rebellious François Truffaut back in 1955. Jean-Luc Godard, in his turn, acknowledged Melville's influence, giving him an extended cameo in Breathless. ~ Yuri German, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Bob le Flambeur

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (8)

  • This light, breezy 1955 heist film is probably the least characteristic movie Jean-Pierre Melville ever made.

    Aug 1, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Lagging direction, so-so thesping and usual femme and lowdown aspects of this type production make this an ordinary entry.

    Aug 1, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • A wonderful movie with all the formal beauty, finesse and treacherous allure of green baize.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Its realism is not the reality of life, but of the kind of movies that give shape to the disordered lives of the people who watch movies.

    Feb 1, 2005 | Rating: 4/5
  • Bob le Flambeur (1955) has a good claim to be the first film of the French New Wave.

    Jul 8, 2003 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Melville's actually more interested in his central character's gentlemanly heroics and fractured obsession with risking everything at the roulette table.

    Feb 11, 2003 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Jamie Russell
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Bob le Flambeur

  • Nov 23, 2012
    The ending is pure comedy - adore!
    Stefanie C Super Reviewer
  • Oct 25, 2008
    If there?s one thing the French are good for, it?s heist flicks. This is said to be a major precursor to the French New Wave, which every film buff knows as an extremely important movement in the history of film. This was one of the first movies to knowingly imitate the noir style, which had beforehand not really been a genre but more of a natural aesthetic evolution. Jean-Pierre Melville?s movies were all about coolness, he?s the reason why black suits are the perfect garb for high class badasses. This is a heist film which ends up not being about the heist at all, but of a character who isn?t as smooth as he seems. I really think I?m going to enjoy exploring more of Melville?s work.
    MJS M Super Reviewer
  • May 01, 2008
    another great heist film from jean pierre melville, once again showing his love for american noir and gangster movies. the title character is a kind, aging thief and degenerate gambler who plans one last elaborate job, the robbery of the deauville casino. of course everything doesn't go off as planned. an important precursor of french new wave and a very obvious influence on ocean's eleven. remade by neil jordan as the good thief, 2003
    Stella D Super Reviewer
  • Oct 07, 2007
    I liked THE GOOD THIEF more.
    Michael S Super Reviewer

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