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Thread: Borsalino And Company/Un Flic

  1. #1
    Words fail me... Horace Cordier's Avatar
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    Borsalino And Company/Un Flic

    Ok, so everyone knows I have my problems with the French. But I just saw these two movies and have to say that as my first taste of French crime, I was blown away.

    I expected something similar to the Italian cop films I love so much, but this is a different beast. The scripts are more coherent, the action more subdued but more believable and the acting was extremely good all around.

    BORSALINO AND COMPANY is one of the best directed films I've ever seen. Its a period piece, set in the late 30's and the attention to period detail is amazing. Many times I was reminded of THE GODFATHER. The funeral, some of the shoot-outs and the interplay between Alain Delon's gangster and his Italian fascist nemesis was well developed. Delon is an incredibly charismatic actor. Cold as ice, but he expresses emotion perfectly without saying a word. He also does a great drunk scene.

    UN FLIC was great too. A little more ambigious than BORSALINO AND COMPANY and Delon's role was much smaller, but still a great film. Melville was a master director, and one of his gifts was what he DID NOT show you. There are key moments in the film where you think you know exactly whats coming and he confounds (in the best possible way) the viewer. This one was also a real eye opener in terms of Richard Crenna - he really shines in this and actually has the more important role. The opening bank sequence in the pouring rain is brilliant. Melville had a bit in common with Sergio Leone - they both knew how to use a tight close up on an actor's face. The other thing I loved was that everyone looked REAL - the film is filled with great character actors in small roles (and Catherine Deneuve for some eye candy).
    "On your feet, or on your knees"

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    Re: Borsalino And Company/Un Flic

    Quote Originally Posted by Horace Cordier

    I expected something similar to the Italian cop films I love so much, but this is a different beast. The scripts are more coherent, the action more subdued but more believable and the acting was extremely good all around.
    I couldn't put it better myself. I don't know why there aren't more fans of French crime films because in my humble opinion the ones that I've seen are a cut above many of the much vaunted Italian crime films. Better acted, directed with better written scripts as you mentioned above.

    Would love to see more released with English (sub. or audio track). There's an old thread entitled FRENCH CRIME that's worth a look for more opinions.

  3. #3
    Scholar of Sleaze Paul A J Lewis's Avatar
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    Re: Borsalino And Company/Un Flic

    I love both of these movies: UN FLIC is close to being my favourite of the collaborations between Delon and Melville. I was lucky enough to revisit LE CERCLE ROUGE on the big screen, just before Christmas. It was a great experience, although a couple of the friends I dragged with me found the film a little slow for their tastes. But what do they know, eh?

    Have you picked up Kino's TWO MEN IN TOWN or FLIC STORY DVDs yet, Horace?

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    Re: Borsalino And Company/Un Flic

    Un Flic was ruined for me by the worst model effects I have ever seen, the helicopter/train heist sequence completely took me out of the film. I don't know what they were thinking when they shot that.

    Le Cercle Rouge is a masterpiece but the Melville film I watch the most is Le Doulos.

  5. #5
    God of Death Al Edwards's Avatar
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    Re: Borsalino And Company/Un Flic

    Un Flic is a very good minimalist crime film with an excellent opening heist and good lead performances. The climatic scene is a variation of the ending of Le Samourai. Borsalino and Co is an entertaining gangster film with a very good performance by Delon and excellent villain role by Riccardo Cucciolla. One actor who appears in both Italian and French crime films is Adolfo Lastretti. The fate of the villain is very cruel and brutal.
    "Sailing out beside the sea, out beside the sunken dream"

  6. #6
    "Tell him I'm comiiiing!" Graham Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Borsalino And Company/Un Flic

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark G
    Un Flic was ruined for me by the worst model effects I have ever seen, the helicopter/train heist sequence completely took me out of the film. I don't know what they were thinking when they shot that.
    Yes, I agree with this - Un Flic is a great film, but the helicopter/train model effect is hideous. Check out the pilot... he's so clearly a little plastic man!
    "You rat up, you don't rat down." The Panic In Needle Park (1971)

  7. #7
    Words fail me... Horace Cordier's Avatar
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    Re: Borsalino And Company/Un Flic

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul A J Lewis
    IHave you picked up Kino's TWO MEN IN TOWN or FLIC STORY DVDs yet, Horace?
    FLIC STORY is next on my list Paul, after first seeing Jean-Louis Trintignant in THE GREAT SILENCE I've always been a big fan so I'm dying to get this - him and Delon in the same film is a great match.

    I'll get to TWO MEN soon though as I understand it that one is a more subdued film thats really about crime and social issues with very little action.
    "On your feet, or on your knees"

  8. #8
    Captain of Industry Al R's Avatar
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    Re: Borsalino And Company/Un Flic

    Any fans of Jean-Pierre Melville should be happy to hear that his 1969 thriller Army of Shadows, a World War II thriller based on a book and his own experiences in the French Resistance, is currently being released theatrically for the first time in the U.S. Reviews are very positive, calling it the best thriller to be seen this year (depressing considering it's from 1969). The awesome cast includes Lino Ventura and Simone Signoret.
    Info and new trailer here: http://rialtopictures.com/shadows.html
    "I'd hate to take a bite out of you. You're a cookie full of arsenic."

  9. #9
    The Po-Man Chris Poggiali's Avatar
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    Re: Borsalino And Company/Un Flic

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark G
    Un Flic was ruined for me by the worst model effects I have ever seen, the helicopter/train heist sequence completely took me out of the film.
    I saw this in a theater 10 or 12 years ago, and the whole audience burst out laughing during this sequence. I laughed as well. Maybe this was Melville's intention? He was a strange guy.

    I'm one of the few who isn't bothered by the effects. After all, they never bothered me in the countless Japanese monster movies I've watched over the years.

  10. #10
    Fanged Jonathan Douglas's Avatar
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    Re: Borsalino And Company/Un Flic

    Quote Originally Posted by Horace Cordier
    I'll get to TWO MEN soon though as I understand it that one is a more subdued film thats really about crime and social issues with very little action.
    That's true, but there's a very brutal murder committed by Delon, pretty realistic because you think it's unnecessary. Delon made almost nothing but crimers in the 80s, I think at the time he was trying to become the French Bronson, and he succeeded IMO. They really deserve 'English' releases.


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  11. #11
    Fanged Jonathan Douglas's Avatar
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    Re: Borsalino And Company/Un Flic

    Quote Originally Posted by Al R
    Any fans of Jean-Pierre Melville should be happy to hear that his 1969 thriller Army of Shadows, a World War II thriller based on a book and his own experiences in the French Resistance, is currently being released theatrically for the first time in the U.S. Reviews are very positive, calling it the best thriller to be seen this year (depressing considering it's from 1969). The awesome cast includes Lino Ventura and Simone Signoret.
    Info and new trailer here: http://rialtopictures.com/shadows.html
    That's terrific, I hope the Rialto theatricals get DVD releases too, I recommend you go see AOS if you can. It's an awesome cast indeed, and one of Melville's absolute best.



    Speaking of WW2, the war comedy LE GRANDE VADROUILLE (1966), with the ridiculous US title DON'T LOOK NOW, WE'RE BEING SHOT AT would be a welcome DVD release as well. It's one of the most popular French comedies, starring Louis de Funes and Terry-Thomas, a hilarious and OTT chase film ala IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD meets HOGAN'S HEROES. So far only out in France.

    Last edited by Jonathan Douglas; 07-23-2006 at 01:58 AM.
    Addicted to microwave popcorn.
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  12. #12
    God of Death Al Edwards's Avatar
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    Re: Borsalino And Company/Un Flic

    Un Flic is being released by Lionsgate.

    http://www.navarre.com/prodhome.aspx?ItemNumber=8020077


    At the end of Borsalino and Co there is a to be continued line suggesting a third film. I wonder why it wasn't made. It would have been interesting to see a third film just to know how the central character would have adjusted to living and operating in America.
    "Sailing out beside the sea, out beside the sunken dream"

  13. #13
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    Re: Borsalino And Company/Un Flic

    is there an English friendly release of the original Borsalino anywhere? The one that precedes Borsalino and Co. I mean

  14. #14
    Registered User AnthonyT's Avatar
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    Re: Borsalino And Company/Un Flic

    I recently saw Un Flic myself and was really impressed with the film itself as well as Delon. i have not seen alot with him, but look forward to others. He reminded me a little of DeCaprio in terms of looks, but has a little harder edge to his personality. As I was watching Un Flic during the scenes with the helicopter and train, it reminded me of Rififi when there was only the sound of what was happening and no dialogue. It creates a very suspenseful atmosphere.

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    Re: Borsalino And Company/Un Flic

    I truly hope Lion's Gate doesn't fuck this up. They released a Pan & Scan version of Honor Among Thieves with Delon & Bronson last year. It seems as if Lion's Gate couldn't pound a nail through shit, without breaking the hammer. Someone should hurry up and release the Sicilian Clan, I'm kind of iffy on the MGM Region 1 that's been floating around.

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