Suffused with wry humor, Jean-Pierre Melville's Bob le Flambeur melds the toughness of American gangster films with Gallic sophistication to lay the roadmap for the French New Wave. As the neon is extinguished for another dawn, an aging gambler navigates the treacherous world of pimps, moneymen, and naïve associates while plotting one last score-the heist of the Deauville casino. This underworld comedy of manners possesses all the formal beauty, finesse and treacherous allure of green baize.
A singular masterpiece that served as a clarion call for the coming French New Wave, this 1955 love letter to the city of Paris and the American urban noir films of the 1930s and 1940s is precisely the sort of cinematic consideration of genre influences that became the soul of early works by Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, and Claude Chabrol. Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville (a filmmaker so enamored of American culture he adopted the name of Moby Dick's author), Bob le Flambeur (Bob the Gambler) concerns a courtly gangster who plans on robbing a casino. But the film is less about the trappings of a conventional heist tale than about Melville's embrace of the form and his wistful weavings within it. The title character (Roger Duchesne) is almost a knight errant, with a visible gallantry and code of loyalty suggesting Melville's own dreams of film tradition, reinvented into something both faithful and new. A terrific experience and an important sliver of film history. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I purchased this movie from Amazon.ca. The information indicated that it was a Maple Studio product with French subtitles. Read morePublished on Sept. 26 2011 by David M. Goldberg
Jean Pierre Melville deserves to be included with the ranks of Kubrick or Hitchcock. If you're even bothering to read this, just buy the movie already.Published on Oct. 7 2009 by Joel Macdonald
Most people reading the reviews I assume already know of the movie and are thinking about buying it because they can't find it or because they've seen it and like it. Read morePublished on March 10 2004
Wonderful to look at with nice shots of Montmatre at night and a good opening during a Paris dawn. Also, the "bad" girl Anne is worth looking at twice. Read morePublished on Jan. 13 2003 by Fleurbleue
I first saw this movie at a local film festival a year ago and fell in love with it. The characters are fascinating, ones you want to revisit again and again. Read morePublished on Oct. 11 2002 by Wally Conger