Thursday, January 7, 2010

Le Gang (1977)

Le Gang is the 2nd (and last) movie made by Alain Delon and Jacques Deray, based on Roger Borniche's book. Like the first, Flic Story, Le Gang is also set in 1945, when France is recovering after WW2. While Flic Story is serious, Le Gang has much more cheerful tone; the happy music for example. The leader of the gang, Pierrot le fou, has his name changed to Robert le dingue, and to play this character, Delon wore a curly wig and a pair of round sunglasses, and smoked cigars. This change of appearance, I must say, made his acting look better. Throughout the movie, he had these wild, crazy eyes; which are more exciting to watch than the usual blank expression he used when he played a hitman.

The gang profits from the situation after the war. They fill their pockets with money from robbery after robbery. In the beginning of the movie, we meet Marinette (Nicole Calfan), who rushes to visit the gravely injured Robert. Then she tells her story, how she meets him one year ago, when the gang involved in a fight with American marines in the bar where she worked as a hatcheck girl. Although there are many robbery scenes, no one gets hurt in the movie. The only person who gets shot and dies is Robert himself. If there is an almost violence here, it must be when Robert is about to hit the marine's face with a broken bottle. It shows that behind his wide grin, hidden a deep cruelty.

The gang - left to right: Jo (Xavier Depraz) - survivor of a concentration camp, Manu (Adalberto Maria Merli) the seducer, Robert (Alain Delon) the crazy, Raymond (Roland Bertin) the car mechanic, and Lucien (Maurice Barrier) ex Gestapo member.

One time, the gang robs a train station. After the robbers left, one of the victims begins to cry for help, but stops short because he sees Robert is still there. Robert's face is menacing, but this scene turns out to be funny. Well, at least it made me laugh. He runs to escape the police, who are coming, and he succeeds, only to be caught in a raid on illegal immigrants.

Robert's end is also foolish (although the gang often makes the police look ridiculous, especially when they successfully escape from a tight surrounded house) : after a successful robbery, he goes into a jewelry store to "buy" a gift for Marinette. Like The Lord gave Sisera into the hand of Jael, the adventure of Robert- the infamous lead of the gang - ends in the hand of a woman, the jewelry's seller's wife. Marinette has lost the man she loves and gets a beautiful bracelet for a change. However, if I were Marinette, and I feel she felt the same, I would have not exchange him for hundreds of gold bracelets.

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