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Friday, August 10

Directed by Jacques Becker

(1942) In a ‘mythical country’, vaguely South American [it was made under the ‘crime-less’ Vichy government] hotshot aspiring detective Raymond Rouleau wins the coin toss with a rival and goes undercover in Pierre Renoir’s gang to track down a murderer. Very American comedy-thriller was Becker’s first completed feature. 35mm print imported especially for this series. Approx. 105 min.


“Seethes with corruption, bitterness, and ugliness. A classic example of film noir, French style, and subtly but surely flings the corruption and the fear of the Occupation back in the faces of French viewers.”
– Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“A fanciful crime drama… Filled with the minutiae of police work, as well as little gestural details that gradually take on huge importance. An object casually moved on a table. A phone left off the hook. A glance held too long. Becker knows how to direct our attention. These small particulars both pull us in further and lead us to a greater understanding of the story and characters.”
– Bilge Ebiri, The Village Voice

Film Forum