french films > Red Circle (The)

Red Circle (The)

Red Circle (The)

cast: Alain Delon, Bourvil, Gian Maria Volonté

year: 1970

colour: no

certificate: PG

director: Jean-Pierre Melville

runtime: 140

Crime "Gliding almost without speech down the dawn streets of a wet Paris winter, these men in trench coats and fedoras perform a ballet of crime, hoping to win and fearing to die. Some are cops and some are robbers. To smoke for them is as natural as breathing. They use guns, lies, clout, greed and nerve with the skill of a magician who no longer even thinks about the cards. They share a code of honor which is not about what side of the law they are on, but about how a man must behave to win the respect of those few others who understand the code. Jean-Pierre Melville watches them with the eye of a concerned god, in his 1970 film "Le Cercle Rouge." His movie involves an escaped prisoner, a diamond heist, a police manhunt and mob vengeance, but it treats these elements as the magician treats his cards; the cards are insignificant, except as the medium through which he demonstrates his skills. Commissaire Mattei (Bourvil) will try to stop them. Saddly, Bourvil was very ill during the filming and never saw its release.


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