Jean-Pierre MelvilleFrance102 minutes1955B&WFrench
The French New Wave is born in Bob le flambeur, which had a direct influence on many young filmmakers (especially Godard, who salutes it in Breathless). Roger Duchesne, the proverbial "silver fox," plays an aging gambler who, down on his luck, masterminds an impossible heist: the robbery of the casino at Deauville. Though the robbery plans are rendered with characteristic excitement, and the relationship between Bob "le flambeur" and his adopted son's girlfriend is detailed with tender insight, the film is best known for its moody, poetic portrait of Paris, captured in Henri Decäe's glistening black-and-white cinematography. "Melville's masterpiece of atmospheric verité" (J. Hoberman); "Perhaps the most perfectly controlled and witty film in the career of Jean-Pierre Melville" (David Denby).