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Jean-Pierre Melville

Le Samouraï

Melville’s stylish, mythic, beautifully judged take on the world of crime.

Image from Le Samouraï

France-Italy 1967
Dir Jean-Pierre Melville
With Alain Delon, Nathalie Delon, François Périer
English subtitles
Certificate PG

With its cold, bluesy colours, its many wordless scenes, its pared-back, ritual-filled narrative and an opening scene which pays tribute to the film of Graham Greene’s This Gun for Hire – this is Melville’s most mythic take on the world of crime. He himself described the impassive protagonist – a loner hitman (Delon) who falls for a woman who witnessed one of his killings – as schizophrenic.

The screening on Tuesday 5 September 18:10 will be introduced by Ginette Vincendeau, King’s College London.


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