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Jean-Pierre Melville

L’Ainé des ferchaux

Magnet of Doom

An elderly embezzler hires a young boxer as his assistant when he flees with his fortune, but mistrust takes hold.

Image from L’Ainé des ferchaux

France-Italy 1963
Dir Jean-Pierre Melville
With Jean-Paul Belmondo, Charles Vanel, Michèle Mercier, Stefania Sandrelli
English subtitles

Very loosely adapted from a Georges Simenon novel, this film chronicles the geographical and emotional odyssey undertaken by an elderly embezzler (Vanel) and the young boxer (Belmondo) he hires as his assistant when he flees with his fortune to America. Inevitably, suspicion takes its toll in what becomes a strange, intense love-hate relationship. The two stars bring great charisma and intelligence to a psychologically complex film.


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