Film review: Classe Tous Risques (12A)


Click to follow
The Independent Culture

The late French film-maker Claude Sautet (he died in 2000) is best known to British audiences for his chamber piece Un Coeur En Hiver, a restrained love story about a violin virtuoso.

His 1960 debut feature is the kind of riproaring, existential gangster film you'd expect from Jean-Pierre Melville or a young Jean-Luc Godard.

Jean-Paul Belmondo shows the same swagger he brought to Godard's Breathless but the pick of the performances is from pug-faced, sad-eyed Lino Ventura as a once big-time thief who has reached the end of the line.

Sautet throws in some terrific chase sequences (by car and boat) and plenty of pathos: Ventura, as he is hunted down, looks forlorn in a way that only French gangsters can.