Touchez Pas au Grisbi (Hands Off the Loot) Reviews
Max and Riton are aging criminals and Max wants nothing more than to retire on the proceeds of their latest heist. Max also feels that the somewhat dim Riton has been holding him back over the years. When Riton is kidnapped by rival gangsters demanding a share of the loot (Grisbi) Max must decide if he will abandon Riton to his fate. Of course there is never any choice for Max, true to his code he must and risk all to help Riton.
What this film also shows is why Max is a criminal. He dresses well, eats in fine restaurants and visits expensive nightclubs. Compare this to White Heat where Cody despite a series of successful robberies, spends most of his hiding out in the mountains.
Along with Rififi, Bob the Flambour and Le Doulos, Touchez pas au Grisbi is a film no lover of film noir should miss
Great stuff, and it's made me a fan of Jean Gabin for life.
Losely translated this means Don't Touch the Loot.
I'm kind of new to the whole French Film Noir era of the 1950's, but seeing this movie really made me a believer. This film is my all-time favorite one, and I highly recommend it. I definitely want to see more of Jacques Becker's films.
The film begins with Max (Jean Gabin) at a restaurant hangout, Chez Bouche, with his partner, Henri Ducros dit Riton (René Dary) and some young showgirls, Josy (Jeanne Moreau) and Lola (Dora Doll). Both men are aging criminals, realizing that they are getting too old for this. Max tells Riton that he's being a fool for Josy; nightclubbing at his age; that he should kick her to the curb and if he were younger he would have simply waited and collected her money when she got home. Instead, Riton tells her that he and Max are sitting on 50 million francs in gold bars from a previous heist.
Naturally, Josy tells another crook Angelo Fraiser (Lino Ventura) about those bars. So Angelo kidnaps Riton to get the bars from Max. Although Max knows that Riton brought this on himself, he doesn't think twice about picking up the bars and releasing his buddy. Not only that, but his friends seem to drop everything to help him too. That shoots that honor amount thieves.
As usual as the plot may sound, this approach was an unusual turn, especially in the 50s, the decade I'd catalogue as the best for crime French films. We get an engrossing and absorbing look into those other human details that concern even a gangster, and Becker's direction is a marvellous one for the job. Be it as it may, Gabin is the only actor in history that can have a huge sex appeal despite his age, wear pajamas and smoke a cigarette with so much style, and be a terrific face slapper, all at the same time. Now that's what being a cinema legend is all about!