A seminal work of crime filmmaking that led the young critic Francois Truffaut to declare “the best Film Noir I have ever seen”, Jules Dassin’s ‘Rififi’ has influenced films as diverse as ‘Reservoir Dogs’ and ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ since its release.
Tony le Stephanois (Jean Servais), a master thief fresh out of jail, wearing a harried look and suffering ill health 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: a robbery of the jewellery store Mappin & Webb.
‘Rififi’ is 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. An instant commercial success in Paris and worldwide, the film was also very well received by the critics with Dassin being awarded best director at the Cannes Film Festival.
★★★★★ "A diamond" - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian