Le Cercle Rouge (1970)

Le Cercle Rouge (1970)



Critic Consensus: Melville is at the top of his game, giving us his next-to-last entry into the world of deception, crime, and extreme suspense that made him a maestro of the French heist genre.

Le Cercle Rouge Photos

Movie Info

Corey (Alain Delon) is the young gun in the French underworld who has just been released from prison. Escaped convict Vogel (Gian-Maria Volonté) hides in the trunk of Corey's car. The two enlist the help of an alcoholic former cop (Yves Montand) for an elaborate jewelry-store robbery. Police inspector Mattei (Bourvil) whom Vogel escaped in the beginning of the film is on the case trying to recapture the criminals. He is not opposed to using blackmail techniques to get answers out of the unwilling witnesses and criminals brought in for questioning.
Art House & International , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Rialto Pictures

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Alain Delon
as Corey
as Le Commissaire Mattei
Yves Montand
as Jansen
Paul Crauchet
as Le Receleur
Paul Amiot
as L'inspecteur général de la police
Pierre Collet
as Le Gardien de prison
Jean-Pierre Posier
as L'assistant de Mattei
Yves Arcanel
as Le juge d'instruction
René Berthier
as Le directeur de la P.J.
Jean-Marc Boris
as Le fils Santi
Jean Champion
as Le garde-barrière
Yvan Chiffre
as Un policier #1
Anna Douking
as L'ancienne amie de Corey
Yves Arcanal
as Examining magistrate
Robert Favart
as Le vendeur chez Mauboussin
Roger Fradet
as Un policier #2
as Le gardien du billard
Jean Franval
as Le tenancier d'hotel
Jacques Galland
as Le chef de train
Jean-Pierre Janic
as Paul, l'homme de Rico
Pierre Lecomte
as L'adjoint de l'I.G.S.
Jacques Leroy
as Un policier #4
Jean Pignol
as L'employe du greffe
Robert Rondo
as Un policier #5
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Critic Reviews for Le Cercle Rouge

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (22)

Melville's special achievement was to relocate the American gangster film in France, and to incorporate his own steely poetic and philosophical obsessions.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

One well-choreographed, beautifully shot and definitely cool cops-and-robbers film.

Full Review… | September 5, 2003
Miami Herald
Top Critic

I can't say that Cercle Rouge is an overlooked masterpiece, but it's an amazing antidote to the current style of filmmaking in which silence and causal relationships are routinely disregarded.

August 15, 2003
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic

If you ever wanted to know how to look good wearing a trenchcoat, lighting a cigarette, handling a revolver, drinking a whiskey or overpowering an armed guard, Jean-Pierre Melville's 1970 gangster drama is your guide.

Full Review… | July 24, 2003
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

The director's penultimate work.

Full Review… | June 27, 2003
Boston Globe
Top Critic

A slo-mo gem of gangster cool.

June 19, 2003
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Le Cercle Rouge


A good French heist thriller from the 70's that's a slow-burn, but delivers in spades when it comes to tension and atmosphere. A daring jewelry theft is the highlight of the movie, and kept me on the edge of my seat.

Lewis C.
Lewis C.

Super Reviewer


Jean-Pierre Melville's masterpiece Le Cercle Rouge (The Red Circle) is a police procedural meets heist film that seems to be almost a playbook for all films like it that came afterwards. Whether it was a consious effort on other filmmaker's parts or developed along the lines by serendipity, the caper film was forever-influenced by the likes of people like Brian De Palma. To boot, there are masterful performances from both Alain Delon and Gian Maria, two men whose characters are brought together by circumstance but develop an unspoken friendship throughout the film that pays off beautifully in the end. Although the overall pace at times is a little lax, the film itself, in style, performance and execution, is a terrific piece of cinema.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

The jewelry store scene alone is worth the four stars.

Tsubaki Sanjuro
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

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