Samourai

Samourai

4.5 8
Director: Jean-Pierre Melville

Cast: Alain Delon, Natalie Delon, Cathy Rosier

     
 

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Long considered a classic of European film noir, this existential gangster drama from French director Jean-Pierre Melville was released in the United States only in a severely truncated, re-edited, and overdubbed version entitled The Godson. Thirty years after its initial public airing, Le Samourai (1967) finally saw a limited American release in itsSee more details below

Overview

Long considered a classic of European film noir, this existential gangster drama from French director Jean-Pierre Melville was released in the United States only in a severely truncated, re-edited, and overdubbed version entitled The Godson. Thirty years after its initial public airing, Le Samourai (1967) finally saw a limited American release in its intended form. Alain Delon stars as Jef Costello, a professional Parisian assassin-for-hire who, by nature of his work's solitary demands, has no friends. Although he is loved by Jane Lagrange (Natalie Delon, the star's real-life wife), Costello knows that Jane already has a lover. After he successfully wipes out a nightclub owner at the behest of his boss, Costello discovers that he was seen by the club's pianist, Valerie (Cathy Rosier). Although he survives a police lineup thanks to a lie offered up by the fearless Valerie, Costello's alibi disintegrates rapidly and his shadowy employer takes out a contract on him. As he seeks revenge on his betrayer, Costello must also stay one step ahead of a wily, determined superintendent (Francois Perier). Melville's film influenced several other filmmakers and projects, most notably director John Woo's The Killer (1989).

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
The epitome of screen cool, policier specialist Jean-Pierre Melville masterfully dissects the life of a loner hitman after he leaves behind a beautiful witness to a nightclub assassination. Opening with a fake nugget of samurai wisdom, Melville emphasizes the self-imposed isolation of Alain Delon's impassive Jeff Costello, as he lies alone in his monochrome apartment before his next job. Amid ultra-mod 1960s nightclub interiors and Henri Dacaë's icily stylish cinematography, Melville meticulously details Jeff's well-honed methods for stealing cars, shooting victims, and covering his tracks. A line-up identification and a celebrated police pursuit through Paris's Metro enhance the suspense about whether this consummate professional can be caught, as an inkling of human connection threatens Jeff's carefully controlled existence. Originally released in the U.S. in an edited, dubbed version meant to capitalize on the popularity of The Godfather (1972), Le samouraï was restored to its original form in the 1990s, although its visual flourishes, procedural flair, and Delon's existential sangfroid had long since infiltrated the international neo-noir lexicon. It directly inspired John Woo's The Killer (1989) and Jim Jarmusch's Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (2000), among others.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/16/2000
UPC:
0717119642730
Original Release:
1967
Rating:
NR
Source:
New Yorker Video

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alain Delon Jeff Costello
Natalie Delon Jan Lagrange
Cathy Rosier Valerie
François Perier The Inspector
Michel Boisrond Wiener
Robert Favart Barman
Catherine Jourdan Hat-Check Girl
Roger Fradet 1st inspector
Carlo Nell 2nd inspector
Robert Rondo 3d inspector
André Thorent Policeman
Georges Casati Damolini
Jack E. Leonard Garcia
George H. Billy 2nd client in nightclub
Catalano Police inspector
Jacques Deschamps Police Clerk

Technical Credits
Jean-Pierre Melville Director,Screenwriter
Monique Bonnot Editor
Georges Casati Production Manager
Jean Charvein Cinematographer
Francois de Lamothe Production Designer
François de Roubaix Score Composer
Henri Decaë Cinematographer
Eugene Lepicier Producer
Yolande Maurette Editor

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