Du rififi chez les hommes' (1955), directed by the exiled American film director Jules Dassin, recounts the nail-biting tale of a Parisian gangster heist gone wrong. Famed for its extended dialogue free robbery sequence, it is both a classic French film noir and one of the greatest, most influential crime films. In this lively companion to the film, Alastair Phillips reveals Dassin's role as a director of socially conscious Hollywood film noir and argues that his seminal contribution to the regeneration of the thriller in post war France therefore uniquely complicated relations between French genre cinema and American mass culture. Phillips also examines the film's innovative narrative construction and use of sound, its performance style and mise-en-scne, and discusses the film's legacy, showing how even today, the term 'Rififi' remains a byword for both criminal glamour and the enduring virtues of French popular classical filmmaking.
French Film Guide