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Bob Le Flambeur (Criterion Collection) (1955)

Cast: Roger Duchesne, Roger Duchesne, Isabelle Corey, more...
Director: Jean-Pierre Melville, Jean-Pierre Melville
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Studio: Criterion
Genre: Foreign, France, Crime, Capers, Gangsters, Neo Noir, Criterion Collection
Running Time: 102 min.
Languages: French
Subtitles: English
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Both a tribute to classic American gangster films and the source of inspiration for French New Wave filmmakers, Bob le Flambeur is the first in a series of stylish noirs that Jean-Pierre Melville started in the mid-'50s. Co-scripted by the popular crime writer Auguste Le Breton (Rififi), this is a story of ex-bank robber and compulsive gambler Bob (Roger Duchesne), who plans a heist at the Deauville casino. As in many films of that genre, he assembles a team of old friends and new acquaintances to do the job and is determined to perform it despite all the odds that continue to pile up before him. The overall tone is admirably lighthearted, however, and despite many stylistic and thematic references to American caper movies, the whole enterprise remains genuinely French. "This is a kind of film that we want to make!" exclaimed the young and rebellious François Truffaut back in 1955. Jean-Luc Godard, in his turn, acknowledged Melville's influence, giving him an extended cameo in Breathless. ~ Yuri German, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • Video interview with Daniel Cauchy ("Paulo")
  • Radio interview with Jean-Pierre Melville
  • Theatrical trailer
You might also enjoy:
Un Flic
Melville's underrated last film is another stylish crime flic(k)

The Killing
Stanley Kubrick's noirish tale of a crime gone wrong

Big Deal on Madonna Street
Classic Italian caper comedy of amateurish crooks, recently remade (or ripped off) as Welcome to Collinwood

GreenCine Member Reviews

What about Bob? It's great. by underdog April 30, 2002 - 12:06 PM PDT
8 out of 9 members found this review helpful
This and Melville's "Le Samourai" make for a swell double feature. Or this and "Riffifi" -- another classic French heist picture. That one may be the granddaddy of all caper pictures, but this one ranks up there, too, a bit frothier and more fun, less of a classic. Just as it was influenced by earlier Hollywood noir, "Bob" itself ifluenced many future American filmmakers, including Tarantino.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.52)
249 Votes
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A List of Good Movies
European noir and neo-noir
European, non-English language films that might be classified as noir.

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