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Friday, August 3

Directed by Jacques Becker
Starring Jean Gabin, Jeanne Moreau and Lino Ventura

(1954) Over-the-hill gangster Gabin has just pulled the heist of a lifetime: enough grisbi (loot) for a cushy retirement. But when moll Jeanne Moreau spills the beans to bad guy Lino Ventura (in his debut), it’s time for a showdown. DCP. Approx. 94 min.


“The beauty of the characters in Grisbi comes from their quietness, from the economy of their movements...Its well-earned success focused on Max the Liar (Jean Gabin) growing old, his weariness, his first pair of reading glasses, the little habits, the good restaurants, the pleasant absorption of a tired-out hooligan who dreams about retiring into middle-class respectability.”
– François Truffaut

“A model french gangster picture. Set the rules for the great sequence of underworld movies from Jean-Pierre Melville that followed.” 
– Time Out

Grisbi contains plenty of the requisite genre elements—double-crossings, violence, kidnappings, gun battles, and the like—but it’s also a pensive meditation on age, friendship, and lost opportunities. The film was hugely influential, setting the tone of French policiers for years to come.” 
– Philip Kemp, Criterion

“A post-heist film that’s also a story of friendship—and of aging. One of the great movies about male friendship; its central sequence is a domestic one that presents the earnest rituals of friendship—involving pâté and biscuits, pajamas and toothbrushes—as a setting for life-changing, identity-shattering confidences. Its final scene offers one of the greatest, most bitterly poignant touches of face-saving deception in the history of cinema.”
– Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“An ambling gangster picture polished to a high gloss.”
– David Mermelstein, The Wall Street Journal

Film Forum