Le Samourai (1967)

…It’s my belief that Melville viewed the protagonists of the crime genre as rival factions for whom life could have been very different if they’d gone a different way. Beneath their trenchcoats and the blue fug from their ever-present Gauloises or Gitanes, they’re not so different. This is an especially effective approach in Le Samourai, which sees Delon’s freelancer being hunted down by the organised forces of both the underworld in the shape of his client Rey (Jean Pierre-Posier) and his enforcer (Jacques Leroy) and by Périer and his officers of the law. That sense of isolation, of being a loner and alone, that gives weight to the film’s title, is therefore not just apparent in Costello’s personal code, but in his eventual predicament too. America of course, didn’t get that, releasing an English dub five years later under the ludicrous title The Godson, suggesting not only a cash-in to Francis Ford Coppola’s gangland epic The Godfather but towards familial ties and a belonging that Delon’s (anti)hero simply does not possess…”

Read my review in full at The Geek Show


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