Rififi (1955)

Do you like a heist film?

The popularity Money Heist had gathered, I suppose you do enjoy a good heist, more so the ones where the thief gets away with it. Whether you have loved it or hated it but definitely have seen it, unlike me. I haven't watched it YET and I'm not going to talk about that today either, and neither I'll talk about any of the Ocean's series. If you already know what era I pick then you can be sure I'll pick something from that timeline of course. So, it is something old, not blue, definitely thrilling, and a must-watch. I picked something that had inspired the Ocean series. Du rififi chez les hommes (1955) or Rififi, in short, is one of the oldest heist films in history; not the first but around the second or third.

Rififi (1955)


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At first, I thought to write how much I enjoy heist movies but then I thought I will be repetitive and I definitely don't want that. So, let me tell you something. When I'm writing about a movie, I google stuff about it. And, this time I found out about caper films which is just a fancy name for heist films and it's a subgenre of crime category; Rififi fits that category. This particular French film is one of the earliest and an inspiration to many other similar category of movies that are made later on. The film is directed by Jules Dassin and he also played one of the supporting characters named César "le Milanais" here along with Jean Servais as an old school theif Tony "le Stéphanois", Carl Möhner as Jo "le Suédois" and Tony's partner in crime, Robert Manuel as Mario Farrati.

The Plot


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Do you remember the beginning of the "Ocean's Eleven" movie? Yes, that's sort of a copy of Rififi. How? Well, think of Tony as Ocean and you'll know. So, Tony gets out of jail after serving a 5-years term sentence for a heist and down on his luck, even losing at card games; you know when life throws you a lemon. He called his partner, Jo, to get him out of the trouble he got into with other poker players. Jo then takes Tony to meet Mario and they told him about the jewel heist at a Parisian jeweler they were planning to do; a simple smash and grab but Tony disagree. Later on, he hunts down his ex-girlfriend Mado who is dating Parisian nightclub owner Pierre Grutter. Tony savagely beats her with a belt after bringing her to his shamble of an apartment.


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After that he and Jo go over to where Mario lives and tells them that he'll join with them if only the conditions are changed; the condition is not a simple smash and grab but a full-fledged heist and their target is the safe of that same Parisian jeweler. Mario tells them about the safe cracking master César and includes him as a valuable addition. So, the band is formed and the plans are getting formulated. Each and every detail noted carefully and planning every second of everything and they did it. Yes, they did do the job successfully but you know what they say, there are only so many things that can go wrong in a jiffy.

Dun-dun-dunnn


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Oh, what's that? It's the touchy-feely section. Gosh, I'm doing so many things wrong with this one. It's a serious movie and a film-noir (my recent preference) but here I am taking all the seriousness out of it. As you can clearly see that Ocean series not only inspired but also took bits and pieces from Rififi so imagine how much of an impact it held in the world of cinema. And what I actually loved about the movie is with such precision they had formulated the plans and took precautions. Yes, one silly mistake was enough to blow away the house of cards but even till the last minute every detail of the movie was very well put together. A story with an attention-grabbing beginning, a rousing middle point, and a superb ending is enough.


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It doesn't have to be a successful heist to make it a great movie. An engaging and thrilling story is enough to keep the audiences stuck to their seats.

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