Endlessly imitated though never matched, Dassin’s definitive heist movie was one of the major crossover hits of mid-1950s international cinema, helping save the director’s career following his exile to France in the wake of the Hollywood blacklist. Its famous 28-minute robbery sequence, filmed entirely without dialogue, is a true masterclass in building cinematic tension. With the director casting himself as Cesar the safecracker, the central character of the movie’s key scene, Dassin’s film is often read as a veiled critique of the corruption and backstabbing prevalent in the Hollywood that betrayed him.
35mm print courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive, Australia.
Also screening on Wed 13 September
Quai des Orfèvres (1947) – Wed 30 Aug, 7pm
Razzia Sur la Chnouf (1955) – Wed 30 Aug, 9.05pm
Classes Tous Risques (1960) – Wed 6 Sep, 7pm
Le Trou (1960) – Wed 6 Sep, 8.55pm
Rififi (1955) – Wed 13 Sep, 7pm
Panique (1946) – Wed 13 Sep, 9.10pm
Although film noir is primarily associated with American cinema of the 1940s and 1950s, France played a key role in its development, both in its appreciation (the term was coined by French critic Nino Frank in 1946) and continuation of the genre. It is perhaps fitting that Rififi (1955), considered by many to be the ultimate French noir, was directed by Jules Dassin, an American exiled in Paris...
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About Melbourne Cinémathèque
Australia's longest-running film society, Melbourne Cinémathèque screens significant works of international cinema in the medium they were created, the way they would have originally screened.
Melbourne Cinémathèque is self-administered, volunteer-run, not-for-profit and membership-driven.