Claude SautetFrance108 minutes1960B&WFrench
Claude Sautet's taut thriller was eclipsed at its release by the excitement around Breathless, even though it starred Jean-Paul Belmondo at his most charming. A master of moral ambiguity, Sautet probes the bounds of friendship and loyalty in his tale of a fugitive mob boss (Lino Ventura) who has fled a life sentence for Milan. Lured back to France, the veteran outlaw alights on the Côte d'Azur, where he holes up in an attic with an ambulance driver (Belmondo) who has been assigned as his guardian by his old pals. "A link between the great postwar policies and the brooding 1960s gangster dramas of Jean-Pierre Melville … a tough and touching exploration of honor and friendship among thieves" (A.O. Scott, The New York Times).