FRENCH TOUGH GUYS: GABIN, VENTURA, BELMONDO
Spanning the late 1930s through the early 1970s, this series of Gallic thrillers and action movies pays tribute to three of the finest - and toughest - leading men in French cinema: Jean Gabin, Lino Ventura and Jean-Paul Belmondo. The series is presented in cooperation with New York’s Film Forum. Special thanks to Film Forum’s Bruce Goldstein and Amélie Garin-Davet from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.
- Wed., Jun. 22 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
A world-weary ex-con (Gabin) recruits his cocky former cellmate (Delon) in a plan to rip-off a fancy Riviera casino. This tense and witty heist thriller was helmed by veteran action auteur Verneuil, who later directed Gabin and Delon in The Sicilian Clan. His handling of the final 20-minutes has been justly celebrated! Print courtesy of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.
- Wed., Jun. 29 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
A disturbed train engineer (Gabin) falls hard for the conductor’s wife (Simon), who embroils her lover in a plot to murder her husband. Renoir’s updated adaptation of Zola’s novel is a masterpiece of poetic realism and provided a prototype for countless American films noir, including Fritz Lang’s remake, Human Desire. Print courtesy of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.
- Wed., Jul. 6 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
A man (Belmondo) and a woman (Moreau) are both witnesses to a crime of passion, an event that brings them together and sparks their own tempestuous romance. This rare feature from celebrated stage director Brook (Lord of the Flies) is an adaptation of Marguerite Duras’ first bestselling novel. The two stars never looked more luminous than they do here in Brooks’ black and white/CinemaScope framing. Print courtesy of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.
- Wed., Jul. 13 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Near the port of Le Havre, farmer and family patriarch Gabin rules his family with an iron fist. When a weak drug-dealing grandson brings a stash of heroin on the farm, Gabin destroys the drugs in a fit of anger. He then must prepare to fight back against the gangsters who are coming to collect their property.
- Wed., Jul. 13 | 8:30 PM4070 Vilas Hall
A freelance skipper (Ventura) is asked to consult on a boat sale and soon finds himself mixed up in a missing person case and the gun-running scheme of the thuggish Mr. Morrison (veteran Hollywood hood player Gordon). This early thriller from director Sautet (Classes tous risque, Max et les ferrailleurs) was based on a novel by American pulp writer Charles Williams, whose books were turned into movies like Dead Calm, The Hot Spot, and Truffaut’s final film, Confidentially Yours.
- Wed., Jul. 20 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
Gabin stars as Max, a big-time, high-style gangster hoping to retire after one last big heist in this tough-as-nails French noir from the director of Casque D’or and Antoine et Antoinette. Ventura and Moreau, in early roles, play Max’s nemesis and a showgirl who betrays one of Max’s gang, respectively. The title translates as “hands off the loot.”
- Wed., Jul. 27 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
100k of guns and ammunition are being transported across the Sahara Desert in a truck. When Rocco (Belmondo) decides to hijack the shipment, the head of the trucking company (Goldfinger himself, Gert Frobe) sends out Rocco’s pal Herv (Ventura) to bring back the goods. Verneuil delivers a rousing action movie in the tradition of The Wages of Fear. The stunt driving and the final fistfight between the two stars are particularly impressive and memorable.