Directed by: Jean-Pierre Melville
Countries & Regions: France
Length: 96 mins
Region: Region 2
Released: 13 November 2006
Cat No: OPTD0661
Screen ratio 1:1.33
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Bob Le Flambeur
Jean-Pierre Melville directs this pre-New Wave classic, chronicling a raid on a Parisian casino. Bob the Gambler (Roger Duchesne) reverts... Read More
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.