THE SICILIAN CLAN
LE CLAN DES SICILIENS
1969, 20th Century Fox, 118 min, France/Italy, Dir: Henri Verneuil

Expatriate Sicilian mobster Jean Gabin and his family shelter homicidal, lone-wolf jewel thief Alain Delon after his daring escape from a prison van. Delon proposes a multimillion-dollar jewel heist to Gabin that is fraught with danger, but the semi-retired patriarch signs on when he decides it will allow him to retire to Sicily all the faster. But no one counts on dogged police inspector Lino Ventura (CLASSE TOUS RISQUES, SECOND BREATH) on Delon’s trail. Ventura is extra-surly from trying to kick cigarettes and channels all his frustrations into nabbing Delon and his accomplices. Ennio Morricone provides another memorable score.


MELODIE EN SOUS-SOL
ANY NUMBER CAN WIN
1962, Janus Films, 117 min, France/Italy, Dir: Henri Verneuil

Hotheaded punk Alain Delon hooks up with smooth career criminal Jean Gabin to knock over a gambling casino in Cannes with a cool billion francs in the vault. The tense scenes of Delon creeping like a cat through the casino’s ventilation system are almost as good as those in RIFIFI - and Gabin brings a beautifully weary finesse to his role as the mastermind of the heist.


PURPLE NOON
PLEIN SOLEIL
1960, Janus Films, 117 min, France/Italy, Dir: René Clément

Alain Delon was at his most impossibly beautiful when PURPLE NOON made him an instant star. He plays Tom Ripley, a duplicitous American charmer in Rome on a mission to bring his privileged, devil-may-care acquaintance Philippe Greenleaf (Maurice Ronet) back to the United States. What initially seems a carefree tale of friendship soon morphs into a thrilling saga of seduction, identity theft and murder. This ripe, colorful adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s vicious novel The Talented Mr. Ripley is crafted with a light touch that allows it to be at once suspenseful and erotic, and features some gorgeous location photography of coastal Italy.


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