Bob le Flambeur (The Criterion Collection)
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
- New Transfer With Restored Picture & Sound
- Video Interview With Daniel Cauchy ("Paulo")
- Radio Interview With Jean-Pierre Melville
- New & Improved Subtitle Translation
Top Customer Reviews
Director Jean-Pierre Melville pretty much invented the French crime film. After World War II Melville (real last name Grumbach), made films on a shoestring, on location and without stars. He was alone among all French filmmakers who made pictures entirely on his terms. This 1955 film, with a budget about ten times bigger than a typical French film of its time, is also a loving portrait of Paris and an homage to the noirish American films of the 40s and early 50s. Especially John Huston's "Asphalt Jungle."
Roger Duchesne is Bob, a courtly gangster with a natty style not unlike the late mobster kingpin Gotti, who plans on robbing the Deauville casino. But the film is not so much about the details of Bob's one last heist as it is about playing with the genre itself. Bob is a dark knight with a code of loyalty that conflicts with the amorality of his profession just as the filmmaker Melville toys with the makings of a new film tradition. A terrific film that beats the old and new versions of "Ocean's Eleven."
This new digital transfer, like all Criterion discs, is superb. Extras include an interview with Daniel Cauchy ("Paulo") and a radio interview with director Melville, who was so enamored of American culture that he took the last name of Moby Dick's author.
It's great to now own this film on DVD. Lots of good extra features, including an audio interview with the director (from 1960) and a brand new filmed interview with one of the stars.
If you enjoy film noir and "gangster" films, this French classic is a must.
Melville called 'Bob' a 'comedy of manners', and it is much lighter in tone than his later, more famous gangster films. As the title suggests, it is Bob's gambling, rather than criminality, that is important - look at how the circle of the roulette wheel and horses shape the film's imagery and structure.
There is a tragic gangster plot, a heist, an Oedipal conflict, but they co-exist with the comedy, a dream modernism and a documentary evocation of 1950s Montmartre (its nightclubs, neon lights and cacophony of sounds (three years before 'Touch of Evil')) and Deauville (its casinos and beaches). This is the sort of movie that will spend ten minutes on a man playing cards, and one on the heist he has spent the whole movie organising.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A few interesting wipes, a couple of good images, but who could imagine a French filmmaker making "Double Indemnity"? Read morePublished 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
I don't understand why this gets good ratings. There's little substance to it. The direction was weak. The story was weak. The characters were not engaging. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jonathan A. Curtiss
I enjoy this French film noir. Paris is our favorite city, so we enjoy the mid-fifties feel. It is also a good film for my wife to use for her French language studies.Published 5 months ago by Richard
Good fun. One of the better French flicks on Amazon.Published 5 months ago by William R Niedzwiecki
This is a good, old fashioned character type movie, black and white, subtitled.Set in Paris sometime in the 50's, it details the happening of a Bob Flamer, Bob the Gamble. Read morePublished 6 months ago by RS
Another European film noir picture that should be seen by anyone who has a taste for good movies...Published 11 months ago by Judy L. Maynard
Even tho the option was on the dvd menu, I was unable to change to any other language then what it came in. Instead of giving me a dvd that worked, they told me to return it. Read morePublished 20 months ago by AJD
A totally unsympathetic set of characters (except for the policeman). . .
Bob is generous with his money and fairly distinguished looking, but for the last twenty years... Read more
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