Touchez Pas au Grisbi (Hands Off the Loot) (1954)
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Critic Reviews for Touchez Pas au Grisbi (Hands Off the Loot)
It's Gabin's show all the way, anticipating the melancholy, atmospheric gangster pictures of Jean-Pierre Melville that started to appear a couple years later.
Jacques Becker, who did such a fine job in painting the turn-of-the-century apache milieu in Casque D'Or, brings the same care and psychological overtones to a film on the modern racketeer element.
This model French gangster picture set the rules for the great sequence of underworld movies from Jean-Pierre Melville that followed.
The acting is consistently good. M. Gabin is, of course, an old hand at bland toughness. Rene Dary and Paul Frankeur, as two colleagues; Jeanne Moreau and Dora Doll, as two unlucky ladies, and Lino Ventura and Denise Clair... are sordidly convincing.
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There's not a trace of vanity in [Gabin's] performance.
Audience Reviews for Touchez Pas au Grisbi (Hands Off the Loot)
an excellent crime story. gabin plays a solid lead and scala is sexy in her limited role in a film that caught me by suprise. only loosely a heist film, it is fairly similar to much of melvilles great work. im glad i bought the film because i know i will rewatch it many times.
There are more worries in the life of a gangster besides money. There's love, loyalty, friendship, and the most implacable killer of all: time itself, the way it undermines and vanishes every human being no matter how strong or resolute he/she used to be. Jean Gabin plays the elegant and charismatic Max, an aging criminal mentor who finds his way to retirement full of bumps. After pulling out the heist that Max thought would end up his occupation for good, Max's best friend Riton tells his girlfriend (a very young Jeanne Moreau) about their last job. Unfortunately, this leak of information given by the incompetent Riton leads to his kidnapping by Max's competitor Angelo (Lino Ventura) who will demand their last job's loot for ransom. It will all be decided in a tense and masterfully shot gun battle. An engrossing masterpiece with phenomenal direction, acting and cinematography.
this is just an outstanding piece of crime drama and paved the way for many great french gangster films to come, including dassin's rififi and melville's bob le flambeur. jean gabin, making a terrific comeback, is deadly cool as the weary max, out to save his friend and his loot from rival lino ventura, in his first film role. an unknown and almost unrecognizable jeanne moreau plays the woman who comes between them. with a fantastic running gun battle as the finale! i adored this more than any of melville's gangster films except perhaps le doulos. this was my first taste of jacques becker and i want more!