Le Cercle Rouge (The Red Circle)
Le Cercle Rouge (The Red Circle)

Le Cercle Rouge (The Red Circle)

Director Jean-Pierre Melville

Production year 1970

Length 140min.

Country France/Italy

SYNOPSIS

On the eve of his release after five years imprisoned, the thief Corey is contacted by one guard of the prison that offers him a jewelry heist. However Corey seeks out his former boss Rico and steals money from him. Rico sends two gangsters to hunt Corey down and retrieve the stolen amount. Meanwhile the criminal Vogel is transported by train by the Police Officer Mattei and succeeds to escape. Corey drives from Marseille to Paris and Vogel hides in the trunk of his car. Corey finds him but does not object to ride Vogel to Paris hidden in the trunk. When the gangsters sent by Rico cut in Corey's car, Vogel saves him from the criminals, but Corey loses the money. Without money, Corey decides to heist the jewelry with Vogel and invites the former police detective Jansen to team-up with them. The trio executes a perfect heist but Rico is seeking revenge and Mattei is an unethical but efficient police officer capable to use any means to resolve the case.

CAST & CREW

Jean-Pierre Melville
Jean-Pierre Melville

Director

Producer

Robert Dorfmann

Script

Jean-Pierre Melville

Director of Photography

Henri Decaë

Production designer

Théobald Meurisse

Music by

Eric De Marsan

Sound

Jean Nény

Edit

Marie-Sophie Dubus

Cast

Alain Delon, Bourvil, Gian Maria Volontè, Yves Montand, François Périer, André Ekyan

Production company

Corona, Selenia

Jean-Pierre Melville

After the fall of France in 1940 during World War II, Jean-Pierre Grumbach entered the French Resistance to oppose the German Nazis who occupied the country. He adopted the nom de guerre Melville, after the American author Herman Melville, a favorite of his. When he returned from the war, he applied for a license to become an assistant director but was refused. Without this support, he decided to direct his films by his own means, and continued to use Melville as his stage name. He became an independent filmmaker and owned his own studio. He became well known for his tragic, minimalist film noir crime dramas, such as Le Doulos (1962), Le Samouraï (1967) and Le Cercle rouge (1970), starring major actors such as Alain Delon (probably the definitive "Melvillian" actor), Jean-Paul Belmondo and Lino Ventura. Influenced by American cinema, especially gangster films of the 1930s and 1940s, he used accessories such as weapons, clothes (trench coats), and fedora hats, to shape a characteristic look in his movies. Melville's independence and "reporting" style of filmmaking (he was one of the first French directors to use real locations regularly) were a major influence on the French New Wave film movement. Jean-Luc Godard used him as a minor character in his seminal New Wave film Breathless. When Godard was having difficulty editing the film, Melville suggested that he just cut directly to the best parts of a shot. Godard was inspired and the film's innovative use of jump cuts have become part of its fame.


Filmography

A Day in the Life of a Clown/ 24 heures de la vie d'un clown (1946, short), The Silence of the Sea (1949), Les Enfants terribles (1950), When You Read This Letter(1953), Bob the Gambler (1956), Two Men in Manhattan (1959), Léon Morin, Priest (1961), The Finger Man (1963), Magnet of Doom/Le deuxième souffle (1963), Le Samouraï (1967), Army of Shadows (1969), Le Cercle rouge (1970), Dirty Money/Un flic(1972).

FILMS 2017