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[MÉLODIE EN SOUS-SOL]


Aging crook Charles (Jean Gabin), recently paroled from prison, postpones a quiet retirement for one last high-stakes job — the robbery of a Cannes casino. The key to his plan is the advance work of cocky petty thief Francis Verlot (Alain Delon), whom Charles fears may enjoy his masquerade as a roguish playboy a bit too much. When the night of the "big grab" comes, will Francis be able to execute his grueling part of the daring two-man robbery? Screenwriter Jacques Audiard, hugely popular in France for his slangy pulp novels, and the prolific writer Albert Simonin adapted the story from a novel by San Francisco-based ne'er-do-well Zekial Marko (ONCE A THIEF). The France–United States co-production was a smash hit thanks to its teaming of France's greatest star, Gabin, with a handsome young challenger to his throne, Delon. The films works on every level; not only as a bravura heist movie, but also as a compelling tale of the experienced, aging pro trying to collaborate with an arrogant, virile, younger version of himself. The terrific early-'60s jazz score by Michel Magne even produced a hit instrumental single in the U.S., "Any Number Can Win," recorded by Jimmy Smith. (Note courtesy of Noir City.)

  • Year
    1963
  • Runtime
    118 minutes
  • Language
    French
  • Country
    France
  • Rating
    NOT RATED
  • Note
    With English subtitles.
  • Director
    Henri Verneuil
  • Screenwriter
    Henri Verneuil, Albert Simonin, Michel Audiard, from the novel "The Big Grab" by Zekial Marko
  • Producer
    Jacques Bar, Jacques Juranville
  • Cast
    Jean Gabin, Alain Delon