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Rififi 

Wednesday, Nov 25 2015
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Jules Dassin's 1955 Rififi has often been called the greatest heist movie ever made, and it's by far the most important. If elements of it seem overly familiar now, that's only because they were done first here, and picked up by every heist film that followed. At the time of its release, Francois Truffaut also called it the bestfilm noirhe'd ever seen, and since he was among the French critics who all but coined the term, he would know. The centerpiece of Rififi is quite literally its second act: an astonishing heist scene that lasts a solid half-hour without one word of dialogue or note of music. Despite this audacity, it never feels like Dassin is being self-indulgent. There's plenty of cross-cutting and parallel editing, but the silence makes the tension downright unbearable. As with the bestfilm noir, Rififi is also a portrait of its host city at its darkest and most beautiful, and in this shiny new 2k restoration, the halos around the lights of Paris at night are more gorgeous than ever: You can see every detail on the faces of the sweaty protagonist Tony (Jean Servais) and his sweaty compatriots as they go on about their sweaty business. That's noir for you; there's a price for everything.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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