Sunday, January 31, 2010

Touchez pas au grisbi (1954)

Touchez pas au grisbi (=Hands Off The Loot) is considered a classic and it's not hard to see why. Jacques Becker did a wonderful job, and there are Jean Gabin, Jeanne Moreau, and Lino Ventura. In fact, this is Lino Ventura's first film.

Legendary actor Jean Gabin played Max, the central character in the movie. On September 5, 1953, he and his best friend Riton (René Dary) did a spectacular gold bullion robbery at Orly. One month has passed. Max still wants to wait before taking the loot to a fence, but Riton tells his girlfriend (Jeanne Moreau), who tells Angelo (Lino Ventura), a gangster. Easy to guess that Angelo will do everything to get the loot.

This is a movie about friendship. Two things I like about gangster films are the honour among thieves and how religious they are (the latter is not present here, though). Angelo is the bad guy, but among Max, Riton and Pierrot (Paul Frankeur)-another gangster, there is this strong relationship. They respect each other. If Max wanted, he could run away with the loot and let his friend die [he did considered this at one point.], but he didn't. As Riton dies in the end, perhaps Max feels disappointed because he loses both the loot and his friend, but at least his conscience is clear as he has done his best.

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