HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Un Flic Cops and Robbers
Year: 1972
Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Alain Delon, Richard Crenna, Catherine Deneuve, Riccardo Cucciolla, Michael Conrad, Paul Crauchet, Simon Valère, André Pousse, Jean Desailly, Valérie Wilson
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Determined police commissioner Edouard Coleman (Alain Delon) investigates a string of daring bank robberies committed by a ruthlessly well-organized gang, little suspecting his best friend, nightclub patron Simon (Richard Crenna) is the man behind it all. Both men are romantically involved with the seductive Cathy (Catherine Deneuve), but their friendship is truly put to the test when Coleman draws closer to the truth.

Un Flic was the last film Jean-Pierre Melville made before his untimely death. By now some were beginning to accuse the French crime thriller auteur of recycling his familiar motifs (masculine solitude, fetishistic violence, existential gloom) to the point of self-parody. Others found it odd to see Alain Delon cast as a cop, although this became a more familiar occurrence throughout his latter run of self-produced thrillers: e.g. For a Cop's Hide (1981), Parole de Flic (1985) and Let Sleeping Cops Lie (1988).

Opening with a quote from François-Eugene Vidocq, the thief-turned-policeman who founded the French police force (played by Gérard Depardieu in the likeable fantastical romp Vidocq (2001)), the film’s theme is underlined by Coleman’s observation that the only feelings men inspire in a policeman are ambiguity and ridicule. It boils down to a well-worn story of hard men going through the motions, knowing full well the grim fate life has mapped out for them but unable to curb their instincts. The film opens with a methodically executed bank robbery amidst the windswept coast equal to those celebrated set-pieces in Le Samurai (1967) or Le Cercle Rouge (1970), but thereafter the plot leans too far into the abstract. D.P. Walter Wottitz lends an obsessive blue tinge to the cinematography that gives the film quite a distinctive look, one of several similarities shared with the later, superior Heat (1995) made by avowed Melville devotee Michael Mann. In this instance the kinship between cop and criminal comes across as contrived and drawn rather vaguely.

French cinema found space for some surprising Hollywood talent throughout the Seventies, with American actors undoubtedly drawn by the mystique of the Nouvelle Vague. This produced such unlikely partnerships as Sterling Hayden and director Yves Boisset in Cobra (1971) and Charles Bronson and René Clement with Rider on the Rain (1971). Here, the oft-underrated Richard Crenna slides into Melville’s existentialist universe, jarringly dubbed in French although it is clear the actor spoke the language on set. Most likely his accent was thought too strong. Crenna can’t compete with Alain Delon for laconic cool, but his low-key playing befits the melancholy mood underlined by Michel Columbier’s minimalist jazz score. On the other hand, the film scandalously wastes Catherine Deneuve. Melville was none too skilful with women, but Cathy barely registers beyond her glacial beauty. She is not quite the tarnished angel we first suspect, cold-heartedly executing an injured robber in his hospital bed, an aspect Melville fails to explore any deeper. Rather more affecting is the (implied) transvestite informant whom Coleman cruelly uses then casts aside, part of a lingering gay subtext again drawn far too vaguely. Strangely, no-one mentioned the Melville film when the screen partnership of Delon and Deneuve was hyped up for the less celebrated, but marginally more effective Le Choc (1982).

Un Flic remains fascinating for Melville’s use of split-second editing for psychological shorthand, but the director also lazily recycles familiar nightclub sets and dancing girl set-pieces from previous films. His use of miniatures during the train robbery is distractingly obvious, though the sequence remains suspenseful and executed with panache. One can only wonder where Melville’s unique style of cinema could have gone from here. Would he have continued repeating himself or maybe moved into increasingly politicised stories like his contemporaries in the policier genre?

Click here for the trailer

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3770 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Darren Jones
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: