Rififi (PG) – 1955, France, 118 mins, B&W, subtitles
Dir: Jules Dassin
Cast: Jean Servais, Carl Mohner, Robert Manuel
RIFIFI (ri-f’ -fi) n. French argot. 1. Quarrel, rumble, free-for-all, open hostilities between individuals or gangs, rough and tumble confrontation between two or more individuals. 2. A tense and chaotic situation involving violent confrontations between parties.
A seminal work of crime filmmaking that lead the young critic François Truffaut to declare it “the best Film Noir I have ever seen”, Jules Dassin’s Rififi [Du rififi chez les hommes] has influenced films as diverse as Reservoir Dogs and Ocean’s Eleven since its release.
Following Tony, le Stéphanois (Jean Servais), a master thief fresh out of jail, wearing a harried look and suffering ill health he refuses to be involved with crime, until he finds his girlfriend shacked up with a rival gangster. With little reason to keep living he plans a final job. Tony sets about finding his crew and meticulously planning the job; a robbery of the jewellery store Mappin & Webb. Rififi revolves around the central heist, famed for its finite detail and incredible tension, but the drama does not end at the heist like so many other crime films. Dassin’s film is a humanist tale that hinges on the loyalty among thieves and draws on the fatalistic, doom laden lives common to crooks and thieves in pulp literature.
A huge influence on the young French directors we can also see clearly In it’s final driving sequence through the real life streets of Paris the birth of the Nouvelle Vague.
Doors open for fine wines and all manner of drinks at 7pm. Film starts at 8pm