Tag Archives: Lino Ventura

Henri Decoin – Razzia sur la chnouf AKA Razzia (1955)

Synopsis:
Henri, the Man from Nantes, comes back to his country after a successful stay in the United States, where he was working for Liski, the drug dealer. With the fame of being a tough guy preceding him, he sets himself to the task of knowing why the French operations were not so profitable – and soon he is master of all links of the organization. He can now get it honed to perfection – or destroy it. Only… the Police is following his every step! Is Henri what he says he is, or an undercover detective from the French police? Read More »

Jean-Pierre Melville – Le deuxième souffle (1966)

Veteran gangster Gustave (Lino Ventura) escapes from prison to find his sister is being blackmailed by some petty thugs in this crime thriller. He plans one last caper to steal enough money in hopes of retiring to a tropical paradise. He and his gang are sought by a detective (Paul Meurisse), the cop who plays by the book and avoids the sadistic torture practiced by his less-honorable cohorts. Soon Gustave is caught between the police and the double-crossing gangsters and discovers too late that there is no honor among thieves. Read More »

Claude Pinoteau – Le silencieux AKA Escape to Nowhere (1973)

Shortly after a delegation of Russian nuclear physicists arrives in London, one of their number, a man named Haliakov, is abducted by the British security services. Haliakov is in truth Clément Tibère, a French scientist who was coerced into working for the Russians some years ago. The British agents compel Tibère to work for them, revealing the identity of two notorious spies. Tibère realises that his life is now in peril, that it is only a matter of time before the KGB takes its revenge… Read More »

Claude Lelouch – La Bonne Année AKA Happy New Year (1973)

Synopsis:
At the end of 1972, con artist and thief Simon receives a remission to celebrate the New Year outside La Santé Prison. While heading to his apartment in Paris to meet his mistress Françoise, Simon notices that a car is chasing his cab. In the apartment, Simon leans that Françoise has a lover and he leaves the place without being noticed. Simon recalls the Christmas of 1966, when he travels out-season to Cannes with his partner and friend Charlot to heist the jewellers Van Cleef and Arpels. While plotting a scheme to rob the jewellers, Simon meets the intellectual antique dealer Françoise whose shop is the next-door neighbor of the target and he falls in love with her. But his scheme does not work as planned and Simon is arrested. Read More »

Georges Lautner – Les tontons flingueurs AKA Monsieur Gangster AKA Crooks In Clover (1963)

In this action-packed slapstick comedy – a dying mob boss nicknamed “The Mexican” asks his old friend and ex-gangster, Fernand Naudin (Lino Ventura), to come out of retirement to take over the family businesses and protect his soon to be married daughter. The rival families take an exception to this and unleash their henchmen to take care of Naudin, but they get much more than they bargained for. After surviving their first onslaught, he declares war on the other families and their shady operations. The stellar cast includes Bernard Blier and Francis Blanche with great direction by Georges Lautner and writing by Michel Audiard. The writer, director and three leads reappeared the following year in the even more successful Spy vs. Spy comedy, The Great Spy Chase (Les Barbouzes). Read More »

Francesco Rosi – Cadaveri eccellenti AKA Illustrious Corpses [24fps PAL restore] (1976)

Plot (minor spoilers):
The film starts with the murder of Investigating Judge Vargas in Palermo, amongst a climate of demonstrations, strikes and political tension between the Left and the Christian Democratic government. The subsequent investigation failing, the police assign to the case Inspector Rogas (Lino Ventura), who has firm faith in the integrity of the judiciary. While he is starting his investigation, two further judges are killed. All victims turn out to have worked together on several cases. After Rogas discovers evidence of corruption surrounding the three government officials, he is encouraged by superiors nonetheless to trail the “crazy lunatic” who is murdering the judges. Rogas seeks three men who had been wrongfully convicted by the murdered judges. He is joined by a journalist friend working for a far-left newspaper. Read More »