Rififi…My Introduction to the French New Wave

When watching Jules Dassin’s Rififi, you are witnessing the birth of the modern heist film in 1950s Paris.  With its Bogart gangster cool, French postwar anomie, film noir styling, and hints of the inchoate French New Wave, Rififi has it all. Despite being filmed more than 60 years ago, it still stands as the greatest heist film ever made. The fact that much of this movie was filmed on the streets of 1950s Paris is alone reason enough to see it. But it’s the heist itself, done without dialogue or music, that is the centerpiece of the film. This brilliantly-crafted sequence, which runs for nearly a quarter of the film, became the blueprint for many of the great heist films that followed. Its edge-of-your-seat ending will leave you breathless, and the haunting theme song won’t soon leave your mind.

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