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.


RAZZIA SUR LA CHNOUF
1955, Kino Lorber, 105 min, France, Dir: Henri Decoin

Fresh from his success in TOUCHEZ PAS AU GRISBI, Jean Gabin plays a more mysterious character in director Henri Decoin’s adaptation of a novel by Auguste Le Breton (RIFIFI). Is he hard at work trying to streamline the Paris drug trade for his longtime boss (Marcel Dalio) or is he really in cahoots with the police? Featuring a dream cast of French noir specialists (Lino Ventura, Magali Noel, Lila Kedrova, Albert Rémy).


LE DEUXIEME SOUFFLE
SECOND BREATH
1966, Janus Films, 150 min, France, Dir: Jean-Pierre Melville

This riveting crime drama based on the novel by José Giovanni tells the story of a middle-aged hood (Lino Ventura) who breaks out of jail and organizes a new gang, determined to prove he still has the juice. Melville’s brutal, crackling noir contrasts Ventura’s “old-world craftsmanship” against the younger generation of Nouvelle Vague crooks. According to critic Tom Milne, the film “established Melville’s reputation as a brilliant refurbisher of the immemorial imagery of the genre - gleaming night streets, gunmen prowling in deserted stairways.”


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