Jules DassinFrance118 minutes1955B&WFrench
Please note that Rififi will screen in a new digital restoration instead of the advertised 35mm print.
Blacklisted American ex-pat Jules Dassin won the Best Director award at Cannes for this heist film supreme, which was originally set to be directed by Jean-Pierre Melville (who clearly took inspiration from the film's look, a blend of inky expressionism and "Paris at dawn" poetics). An ex-con (the stoic Jean Servais), just out of prison on a false rap, joins up with a hedonistic gangster and a Milanese safecracker (played by Dassin, under the pseudonym Perlo Vita) to plan a daring jewel robbery. The heist itself is one of the most famous sequences in film history: a half-hour orchestration of pure suspense, intensified by the utter lack of dialogue or music. Inevitably, the thieves set upon each other after the robbery, and the rest is betrayal and murder. Full of dope, double-dealing, and hard-done-by dames — the scene in which Servais slaps around his old girlfriend is shocking — Rififi was called "the best film noir I've ever seen" by François Truffaut, and Quentin Tarantino lifted plenty from it for his Reservoir Dogs.