Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Monday, 18 July 2016

MORE French capers .....

I did a post last week on French gangster flicks, I now find out (thanks, Daryl) that there is a retrospective season in New York until 2 August celebrating these very films. Its LES DURS featuring the work of 3 French tough guys: Jean Gabin, Jean-Paul Belmondo and Lino Ventura - with a lof of Alain Delon on show too. 

LES DURS” is a three-week, 32-film festival spotlighting three French tough guys: Jean Gabin, Lino Ventura, and Jean-Paul Belmondo. The festival includes both classics and rarities, with many 35mm prints and DCPs imported especially for the series.

I had not even heard of TWO MEN IN TOWN (DEUX HOMMES DANS LA VILLE) from 1973 by Jose Giovanni - it had never played here- the third teaming of Gabin and Delon (after the slick Verneuil flicks MELODIE EN SOUS SOL in 1963, and the entertaining caper movie THE SICILIAN GANG in 1969). I have had to order a copy, so will be reporting on that in due course.

They are also showing a wide range of other films by the tough guys, like Belmondo's high-octane comedy thriller L'HOMME DE RIO (which we have raved about before, Belonondo label) and his Truffaut twisted romance LE SIRENE DE MISSISSIPPI (ditto) with Deneuve - her sister Francoise Dorleac is deliciously funny with Belmondo in RIO.  The delirious blurb on it says:
(1964, Philippe De Broca) A blow dart-wielding thug snatches a rare statuette from the Musée de l’Homme; anthropologist Jean Servais (Rififi) is kidnapped in broad Parisian daylight; serviceman Jean-Paul Belmondo begins his 8-day leave by changing to civvies in a Métro entrance and witnesses fiancée Françoise Dorléac (Catherine Deneuve’s sister, killed in a car accident 3 years later) getting kidnapped herself – and then the chase begins: by motorcycle, shoe leather, flight to Rio de Janeiro sans ticket or passport, airport baggage carrier, cable car, pink car complete with green stars and a rumble seat, water skies, Amazon river boat, seaplane, jungle vines…all shot in breathtaking widescreen and color. Even as Dorléac, rescued, is kidnapped again, Belmondo performs his own blood-curdling stunts against that sugar loaf Rio skyline and across that under-construction, unearthly architecture of Brasilia (even parachuting almost into the jaws of a hungry croc). Non-stop spoof of…James Bond? More like a pre-Raiders Raiders – but does Belmondo get back in time from that leave? Co-scripted by Jean-Paul Rappeneau (later director of Cyrano de Bergerac), with music by Georges Delerue (Hiroshima Mon Amour, Jules and Jim, and The Conformist). DCP restoration. Approx. 114 mins..

Full details of the films (which also include those Jean-Pierre Melville classics like LE DOULOS and ARMY OF SHADOWS and those early Gabin classics) are at the link:  and I have been meaning to watch Belmondo in De Broca's LE MAGNIFIQUE, so maybe this week ...


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