4.5 4
Director: Jules Dassin

Cast: Jean Servais, Carl Möhner, Robert Manuel


View All Available Formats & Editions

Long considered one of the greatest crime films of all time (due to a riveting 33-minute safe-cracking scene) and the first film to explore the almost fetishistic detail and labor involved in pulling off a heist, Jules Dassin's remarkable Rififi is given the grand DVD treatment by The Criterion Collection. The film's picture (presented in its original


Long considered one of the greatest crime films of all time (due to a riveting 33-minute safe-cracking scene) and the first film to explore the almost fetishistic detail and labor involved in pulling off a heist, Jules Dassin's remarkable Rififi is given the grand DVD treatment by The Criterion Collection. The film's picture (presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1), which was digitally transferred from a 35 mm composite fine-grain master, is virtually free of all scratches and general wear and tear. Philippe Agostini's magnificent black-and-white cinematography really shines on this disc -- blacks are truly black and the images are always clearly defined and sharp-looking. The high contrast of the transfer is perfectly balanced and stable. The disc also has a "new and improved" English subtitle translation, as well as an optional English-dubbed soundtrack. Included on the disc is a 28-minute video interview with Dassin, where the director talks frankly about his years spent on the Hollywood blacklist after making such classic film noirs as Brute Force (1947) and The Naked City (1948), his initial reluctance to direct Rififi, and his memories (albeit fuzzy) of attending the film's premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and being confronted by Gene Kelly. The disc also offers up a selection of production stills, set designs, production notes, and the original theatrical trailer. This is a four-star disc for a four-star film.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Eddy Crouse
The plot is brutally simple: Four ex-cons; a jewelry store heist; fatal results. A critical and commercial smash in France upon its release in 1955, it set enduring standards for heist films, inspiring copies and parodies alike. (Two of the best: the hysterical Big Deal on Madonna Street and director Jules Dassin's own Topkapi, which also includes a breathtaking, 30-minute break-in sequence sans music or dialogue.) Yet, until it was restored in 2000, Rififi -- with its doomed ragtag antihero archetypes and technical bravura -- was almost lost. Dassin was no stranger to noir standards, having minted some of them himself Stateside in The Naked City and Brute Force. By the early 1950s, though, he found himself in the cross hairs of the House Un-American Activities Committee, blacklisted because of his refusal to name names, and exiled to Europe. The price of squealing resonates throughout Rififi. In the opening scene, Tony the Stéphanois (a note-perfect, saggy faced Jean Servais) has just served a debilitating 5-year prison sentence, taking the fall for his younger partner, Jo the Swede. In the meantime, an old accomplice, Mario (Robert Manuel) hatches a scheme to knock off an upper crust Parisian jeweler, and drawing in Jo, Tony and an ace safecracker, Cesar the Milanese (Dassin, speaking Italian and acting under the pseudonym "Perlo Vita"). The heist is coolly efficient; but a rival gangster wants in after the fact. The DVD special features include a video interview with Dassin, who shares a delightful and frightening anecdote about his meeting with the author of the novel, Auguste Le Breton, among other insights. Among other DVD highlights, the lavish production drawings of Rififi's naturalistic sets afford a fascinating soupcon of irony.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
The pinnacle of heist movies, blacklistee Jules Dassin's Du Rififi Chez Les Hommes (1955) is not only one of the best French noirs, but one of the top movies in the genre. Crafting an archetypal noir story about how human weakness can sabotage the best-laid plans, Dassin masterfully emphasizes the skill and nerve-shredding delicacy that it takes for the central band of thieves to execute those intricate plans (without making a sound) in the classic half-hour heist sequence. The air of seediness and inevitable doom that lingers over the proceedings -- shot on location in Paris -- adds an existential weight to the suspense, turning Rififi into more than just a caper. Though Rififi's all-too-clear primer on how to rob a jewelry store and its then-excessive violence and decadence got the film in trouble in some countries, Rififi became an oft-imitated international hit and Cannes prizewinner for Dassin's direction. Barely seen in the U.S. since its original release, Rififi was restored to its full 35 mm visual glory in 2000, complete with new, more explicit subtitles (done in collaboration with Dassin) and a translation of the title song. The restoration received a special citation from the New York Film Critics Circle.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Region Code:

Special Features

Digital transfer, with fully restored picture and sound; Exclusive video interview with director Jules Dassin; Production stills, plus set design drawings by Alexandre Trauner; Production notes; Theatrical trailer; Improved English subtitles translation; Optional English-dubbed soundtrack; Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jean Servais Tony le Stephanois
Carl Möhner Jo Le Suedois
Robert Manuel Mario
Magali Noël Viviane
Perlo Vita Cesar
Marie Sabouret Mado
Marcel Lupovici Pierre Grutter
Robert Hossein Remi Grutter
Pierre Grasset Louis Grutter
Dominique Maurin Tonio
Claude Sylvain Ida
Janine Darcey Louise

Technical Credits
Jules Dassin Director,Screenwriter
Philippe Agostini Cinematographer
Georges Auric Score Composer
Auguste Le Breton Screenwriter
Auguste Capelier Art Director
Roger Dwyre Editor
Philippe Gerard Songwriter
Jacques Laure Songwriter
Alexandre Trauner Art Director
René G. Vuattoux Producer
René Wheeler Screenwriter

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapters
1. Opening Credits [2:29]
2. Poker Game [4:12]
3. Mapin & Webb [4:26]
4. L'age D'or [1:26]
5. At Home With Tony [4:29]
6. At Home With Mario [3:19]
7. La Rule [1:44]
8. "rififi" [6:20]
9. Some Rififi [2:21]
10. Casing The Joint [4:40]
11. Suralarm [6:15]
12. The Arrival [5:20]
13. Do Not Adjust Your Volume [:00]
14. Quarter To Three [9:13]
15. Four-twenty [7:20]
16. Car Trouble [5:16]
17. Back At Mario's [2:53]
18. "read All About It " [4:04]
19. Pierre Puts It Together [1:50]
20. The Rat Gets His [5:16]
21. The Waiting Game [8:46]
22. Mado Comes Through [9:12]
23. The Hideout [5:26]
24. Fade To Black [4:53]

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Rififi 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The archetypal team robbery film ,,, 'Ocean's Eleven' {I} & {2} and 'Ocean's Twelve' might well have studied this now fifty year old B & W masterpiece == to their profit!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago