1955, Rialto Pictures, 122 min, France, Dir: Jules Dassin

Back from the pen, tough guy Jean Servais rejoins his cronies and freshly imported safecracker César the Milanese (Dassin himself, billed as Perlo Vita) for a little jewelry store smash-and-grab job - but Servais wants the whole works! The central heist is an edge-of-your-seat, 30-minute sequence without dialogue or music, so detailed that it provided a feasible blueprint for real-life pros. "A vivid exercise that more or less invented the idea of French film noir. ... For the French, RIFIFI had Hollywood pizzazz; for Americans, it had Continental sophistication. For both, it seemed to possess an authoritative naturalism." – J. Hoberman. "The best film noir I have ever seen. A marvel of skill and inventiveness." - François Truffaut. In French with English subtitles.

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