Jules Dassin (1911-2008)

1st April 2008

Filmmaker Jules Dassin, who directed classics including The Canterville Ghost, Rififi and Topkapi died in an Athens hospital on Monday. He was 97.

Filmmaker Jules Dassin, who directed classics including The Canterville Ghost, Rififi and Topkapi died in an Athens hospital on Monday March 31. He was 97.

Dassin made his breakthrough into film working as an assistant to Alfred Hitchcock. After making a series of acclaimed 40s Noirs, including Brute Force, The Naked City, Thieves Highway and Night and the City, Dassin was blacklisted, and moved to Europe.

There, he made the Oscar-winning Never on Sunday (starring his second wife, Greek actress Melina Mercouri), as well as the acclaimed crime thriller Rififi (which Truffaut described as the 'best noir he had ever seen') as well as the delightful heist comedy Topkapi (below).



After settling in Greece, Dassin was a vocal opponent of the Greek military junta, and fought a lifelong campaign for the return of the Parthenon Marbles.

Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said, "Greece grieves the loss of a rare human being, an important creator and a true friend. His passion, energy, fighting spirit and nobility will never be forgotten."

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