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Bob le flambeur

(Bob the Gambler)
France 1956. Dir: Jean-Pierre Melville. 104 min. DCP

NEW RESTORATION! “Something like the cinematic Birth of the Cool” (J. Hoberman, Village Voice), Jean-Pierre Melville’s legendary French gangster film was a major influence on the incoming movie makers who would create the French New Wave. A pulpy paean to night-time Paris, shot around the mean streets and smoky nightclubs of Place Pigalle, this atmospheric work stars aging Roger Duchesne as the silver-haired, trench-coated title character, a world-weary career gambler who resolves to end a long streak of bad luck by masterminding the heist of a lifetime. Melville adds more than a little comedy into his otherwise deadpan, bittersweet mix. The film is shot in gorgeous B&W by Henri Decaë, who became one of the key cameramen of the nouvelle vague. “Melville's affection for American gangster movies may have never been as engagingly and wittily demonstrated” (Vincent Canby, New York Times).


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REVIEWS

★★★★ "Before the New Wave, before Godard and Truffaut and Chabrol, before Belmondo flicked the cigarette into his mouth in one smooth motion and walked the streets of Paris like a Hollywood gangster, there was Bob."

Roger Ebert | full review