THE THRILLING ALAIN DELON

LE SAMOURAÏ

One of the most handsome and coolest of 1960s/70s European leading men, Alain Delon is the subject of a three-film summer series of thrillers in which he stars. First up is Jacques Deray’s erotic and suspenseful La piscine, which became a repertory theater hit sensation when it was re-released in the summer of 2021. A real discovery, Georges Lautner’s Les seins de glace features Delon in a character role, a secondary lead to the lovers played by Claude Brasseur and Mireille Darc. Rounding out the selections will be a rare 35mm screening of Jean-Pierre Melville’s ultra-stylish, ultra-cool hitman saga, Le samouraï.

  • Thu., Jun. 30 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Jean-Paul (Delon) and Marianne (Schneider) indulge in their passion for each other while borrowing a friend's luxurious villa in the south of France. When the friend (Maurice Ronet) and his daughter (Birkin) arrive unexpectedly, rivalries and insecurities surface and events take a sinister turn. In this tightly constructed and gripping thriller from the director of Symphony for a Massacre, “Seething passion and emotional chaos lie beneath the symbolically placid surface of the villa’s swimming pool, which becomes the site for both seduction and violent revenge” (Dave Kehr, The New York Times).

  • Thu., Jul. 7 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Beachside in Nice, writer François (Brasseur, star of Godard’s Band of Outsiders) meets the beautiful, wealthy, and mysterious widow Peggy (Darc). Warned of Peggy’s dark and violent past by her protective attorney (Delon), François nonetheless falls hard while bodies begin piling up. A classic femme fatale thriller, Les seins de glace is an adaptation of Someone is Bleeding, an American novel by the celebrated genre author and screenwriter Richard Matheson (I Am Legend). The film has been released in the U.S. under the book’s title, as well as a more literal translation of its French title, Icy Breasts.

  • Thu., Jul. 14 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

In what may be his coolest screen portrayal, Alain Delon is the detail-oriented, fedora-wearing hitman named Jef Costello. Betrayed by his underworld employer and hounded by a persistent cop (Périer), Jef tries to survive his predicament without violating his personal, Bushido-like code of honor. Perhaps the most iconic and stylish movie of director Melville’s career, the hypnotic and meticulously planned Le samouraï delivers a lot of movie thrills from its minimalist story of crooks and cops. 35mm print courtesy of Cultural Services of the U.S. French Embassy.