Monday, June 18, 2012

CLASSE TOUS RISQUES (1960) - Claude Sautet

Translation: "The Big Risk." A serviceable noir title, though I feel like something along the lines of "On the Lam" or "Always On the Run" might have nailed it better. Maybe even if "Off the Grid" if it were to be given an aughts remake.

Title aside, this is a very solid thriller about a reclusive ex-gangster (Lino Ventura) perpetually trying to evade the police through Italy to France and beyond with his two small kids in tow. This movie has some of the most ingenious roadblock evasions and tensest border crossing intrigue you're likely to see. And big props to the writers/director for resisting the urge to reveal Belmondo's character (the mysterious freelancer hired by the mob to help Ventura with his escape) as an undercover cop or Interpol or a rival mobster. I was almost certain that twist was in store the whole time, and it never came much to my relief.

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