Despite the title, this 1969 flic et voyou flick is definitely NOT a mob movie: the clan are a family of Sicilian crooks in France headed by Jean Gabin who spring Alain Delon from jail for a massive jewel robbery, with Lino Ventura's dogged cop on the trail. Based on a novel by Rififi author Auguste le Breton, there's little that's original (although the heist itself is spectacularly ingenious), but it's put together with polish and style and makes for an entertaining couple of hours. Henry Verneuil's direction raises the standard, while Delon, Ventura and Irina Demick offer good value. The once-great Gabin fares less well - although it's nice to see him reunited with his Touchez Pas le Grisbi nemesis Ventura in a couple of scenes, for much of the film he's more of an immoveable monument than much of a presence, only really coming across in his final scene, which taps in nicely to the resigned fatalism of his pre-war classics.
There's a lot wrong with the video - it's from the days when dubbed panned and scanned versions of Scope foreign films were the norm rather than the exception, while at one point on my copy the theme tune from M*A*S*H bled through on the soundtrack to attack Ennio Morricone's score (could Fox be copying over old unsold tapes?). While Henri Decae's great photography does suffer, especially in the split-screen title sequence, at least Delon dubs himself (indeed, his sequences actually appear to have been shot in English). However, until someone decides this merits a widescreen subtitled release on DVD (it's only available unsubtitled in France), this tape is worth a shot, especially at a budget price.
It's not an all-time great, but it is an entertaining and atmospheric French thriller that nicely fills a couple of hours.