Le Cercle Rouge

Le Cercle Rouge
  • 1970
  • France/Italy
  • 2h 20min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Jean-Pierre Melville
  • Cast: Alain Delon, André Bourvil, Gian Maria Volonté, Yves Montand

Melville transposes Huston's 'The Asphalt Jungle' into the complex disingenuous world of Gallic long macs, con men and hard faced police chiefs. The film's opening quotation, ascribed to the Rama Krishna, indicates that it is destiny that propels these thieves' existences: 'on the appointed day they will inescapably be reunited in the Red Circle'. And then we are off, plunged into the story of recently released prisoner Corey (Delon) and his nemesis: the methodical cat-loving Inspector Mattei (Bourvil). It's a stunning, referential, occasionally opaque film that resolves its own plot leaps by soaking everything with a kind of Far Eastern sense of process, honour and belief. Henri Decae's cinematography is sick-stained and washed through beyond the realms of belief. A masterpiece.

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