Bob Le Flambeur DVD
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Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville
Produced in 1955
Main Language - French with English subtitles
Bob Montagné is the gambler of the title, a one-time criminal hatching a last plan to spring the safe at the Deauville casino after being cleaned out there in a gambling session. Can his assembled gang see the plan through before the boastful pillow talk from Bob's protégé Paolo to the enigmatically vague-but-straightforward Anne finds its way to the police?
Filmed mostly in the streets and the back rooms of late-night clubs in Montmartre, there are so many stylistic touches here now associated with the nouvelle vague that it comes as a surprise to find that Melville's film is from 1955, predating the movement by some way. There's the gangster theme, a jaunty camera angle here and a humorous musical cue there, screen wipes, ironic narration and the inclusion of ambient background sound, all of which makes for an exciting piece of filmmaking that has an assured lightness of touch and still looks as fresh today as Godard's A bout de souffle, which took its lead from Melville's earlier film.
Graeme Hobbs on 6th October 2006
Author of 300 reviews
Superb Gallic film noir from the pre-eminent Americanophile amongst French directors. An elegantly filmed Parisian gangster drama with a lightness of tone and sureness of touch that seems both stylishly modern and a lovingly recreated homage to the 1940s American city thrillers from which Melville drew inspiration.
Publisher: Studio Canal
Length: 96 mins
Format: DVD B&W
Released: 13th November 2006
Cat No: OPTD0661
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