Run Time: 100 minutes
The late Jean-Pierre Melville, who wrote, directed and produced BOB LE FLAMBEUR, was the father of the French New Wave, although Jean-Luc Godard's "Breathless" (1959) is generally credited by Americans as the first film of this genre. BOB LE FLAMBEUR's North American debut in the 1981 New York Film Festival won raves and recognition as clearly the forerunner to "Breathless." Melville was known here mainly for directing Jean Cocteau's "Les Enfants Terribles" in 1949. A very personal homage to the American "films noirs" of the Thirties and Forties, BOB LE FLAMBEUR is Melville's masterpiece. Bob (Roger Duchesne), a charmer combining William Powell's "Thin Man" suave elegance and Humphrey Bogart's cool, is an aging Paris underworld "prince" bent on scoring his last major caper. Recruiting his pals from the demimonde refugees of Montmartre and Pigalle nightlife, Bob is obsessed with cracking the Deauville Casino's vault. Everything is carefully planned but the risks are staked dangerously higher after news of the scheme leaks out, ironically, through Bob's closest accomplices. Adding to the credits of this sophisticated comedy thriller are Auguste ("Rififi") Le Breton's dialogue and Henri Decae's camera that lyrically captures Paris, night through dawn, in natural light.
"A great film." - New York Magazine
Jean-Pierre Melville and Auguste Le Breton
Isabel Corey, Roger Duchesne, Daniel Cauchy, Guy Decomble