Today the Criterion Collection is releasing a Blu-ray upgrade of Jules Dassin’s mighty Rififi. In honor of this, today’s crime review will be a reprint of a Movie of the Day column I wrote for CHUD back in September of last year. Dig:
Rififi is a flat-out brilliant and brutal caper that transcends the crime genre. It’s the complete antithesis of the decadent Hollywood heist films where everyone’s dressed as a GQ model and immune to perspiration. The four ex-cons of the film live in a much darker world where plans are hatched in dank basements and shootouts occur in secluded hills. There’s nothing pretty about the film – except for perhaps Magali Noel as the seductive lounge singer Viviane – but it still manages to be unquestionably beautiful in its execution, structure, photography, and moral nucleus.