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Le Cercle Rouge (1970)


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Another masterpiece by Jean Pierre Melville.   Corey ( Alan Delon) is released from prison early for good behavior.  A corrupt prison guard who knows him tips him off to a big jewel heist he could pull.  Corey is released.  At the same time this is going on another prisoner  named Vogel ( Gian Maria Velonte) is being escorted to prison on a train by Inspector Mattei ( Andre' Bourvil) and escapes enroute.  Vogel, knowing the police will set up roadblocks, coincidentally hides in the trunk of Corey's car at a roadside grill.  Corey sees this happen and drives the car to a open field where he confronts Vogel.  The standoff is intense at first but they decide to work together.  I'm not going further into the plot for those who haven't seen this yet.  Let me tell you though its a masterpiece.  The heist itself is probably the best I've seen yet in film.  I have to think on it but its definitely up there.

One thing I'm noticing about the foreign films in all genres is they tend to be more grittier than their American counterparts.  I first noticed this in the spaghetti western genre when they are played straight.  Is this across the board in the foreign film noir, gangster genres?  I don't know yet.

Melville brought alone Henri Decae to again do cinematography.  The soundtrack is by Eric Demarsan. Again, Decae does fabulous work here.  The soundtrack is pretty good also.  I have a couple of quibbles with the film that holds me back from a perfect 10 to a 9.5  I might revise that on a second watch...  What the heck, this is a perfect film... another 10 out of 10...






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