The best American Film Noir out of France,
This review is from: Criterion Coll: Bob Le Flambeur [DVD]  [US Import] (DVD)
This is a displaced American film noir movie by French auteur Jean-Pierre Melville with a leading man (Roger Duchesne) who wears, Bogart-like, a wide-brim hat and a trenchcoat. He's a gambler with a surprisingly high ethical sense. That is until things get desperate and he falls back on his failed career of 20 years before - robbery - this time of a casino.
Usually I find the heist in Melville films the most interesting, but this time I preferred the early, mood-setting scenes of this movie in which the gambler meanders between the backroom gambling dens of Montmartre.
As usual, Melville's direction was top notch with a lot of location shots. Also typically, the pacing is very deliberate. The actors were unknown to me - but I wish Isabelle Corey weren't. Forget, Bardot or Loren. Corey puts most European sex kittens of the time in the shade.