Rififi (1955) film thoughts… I had the opportunity to get this film on Criterion for a good price, so I didn’t hesitate to grab it as I heard this was one of the major films in international film noir. Tony is an older, weathered gent who has just returned from a 5 year prison sentence. It’s is noted that he took the fall for a younger guy who he was good friends with. As an ex-thief, he is broke and needs some kind of income. After declining a small robbery job, the younger guy tells him of a proposition that could be the biggest score of their lives but Tony has to take part, otherwise they don’t think it can be pulled off. So begins the planning of a jewel heist that is extremely detailed in nature. Will they pull it off? You will need to see Rififi to find out….

Seriously, if you haven’t seen Rififi and you like foreign films and noir, you need to find a way to see this immediately. The story, acting, cinematography…everything is tight. The centerpiece of the story, the robbery itself, is filmed in pin drop silence and is very suspenseful. The characters are extremely well defined. What I found most enjoyable is how they actually handle the extreme violence in the film. It’s all implied off screen, with the after effects shown minimally, like a hand hanging over something. That doesn’t lessen the impact, it’s intense.

I loved it. Like I said, I own the Criterion of this but do try to find a good print and add it to your collection soon.


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