Le Samouraï-attachment0

Le Samouraï

Movie Information

In Brief: Jean-Pierre Melville's elegantly stylish, yet icy neo-noir thriller, Le Samouraï, holds up pretty nicely after 46 years, but it probably hasn't the same impact today that it originally did. Though it helped to set the standard for future neo-noirs, the film is curiously distinctive in many instances — especially in the casting of the striking Alain Delon as its hitman star. Fascinating but largely expressionless, Delon keeps the movie slightly at arm's length, which may be the idea.
Score:

Genre: Neo-Noir Crime Thriller
Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Starring: Alain Delon, François Périer, Nathalie Delon, Cathy Rosier, Jacques Leroy
Rated: NR

From the original review: Perhaps more important as a template for neo-noirs to come than on its own merits, Jean-Pierre Melville’s elegantly spare and sparely elegant Le Samouraï (1967) still has much to be said for it in its own right — and it’s a film that makes a fascinating companion piece to John Boorman’s Point Blank (1967). (The two films so complement each other that it’s hard to believe they were made independently, but they were.) The story is a simple one. Hitman Jef Costello (Alain Delon) is a consummate professional who never gets caught — until the hit that’s central to the film, the one in which he spares a jazz-pianist witness (Cathy Rosier). Melville’s interest is in the details of Costello’s world and in the path he is on. The film is never rushed and never melodramatic, but somehow its very methodical nature — and its inexpressive star — make it compelling.

Full review: http://www.mountainx.com/movies/review/samourai

Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present Le Samouraï Friday, June 21, at 8 p.m. at Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., River Arts District (upstairs in the Railroad Library).  Info: 273-3332, www.ashevillecourtyard.com.

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About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress since December 2000. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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