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The backstabbing criminals in the shadowy underworld of Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Doulos have only one guiding principle: “Lie or die.” A stone-faced Jean-Paul Belmondo stars as enigmatic gangster Silien, who may or may not be responsible for squealing on Maurice (Serge Reggiani), an ex-con just released from prison and already involved in what should have been a simple heist. By the end of this brutal, twisting, and multilayered policier, who will be left to trust?
Jean-Pierre Melville pays homage to the American gangster films of the 1930s in the film’s cinematic style and complex plot. Shot and edited with Melville’s trademark cool and featuring masterfully stylised dialogue and performances, Le Doulos (slang for “informant”) is one of the filmmaker’s most gripping film policier, a very French subgenre of the thriller.
2017 marks the 100th anniversary of Jean-Pierre Melville’s birth (1917-1973).
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