Le Doulos

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville

France| 1963. Starring: Jean-Paul Belmondo| Serge Reggiani| Michel Piccoli. English subtitles. Black and white. 108 mins.

Based on Pierre Lesou’s excellent Serie Noir novel, Le Doulos is a study in loyalty, betrayal and ambiguity (a ‘doulos’ is both a hat and an informer). Boasting one of the most daring narrative twists in the history of cinema, the film also has superb noir photography by Nicolas Hayer and a distinguished jazz score by Paul Misraki and Jacques Loussier. In Le Doulos, Melville’s quasi-abstract gangsters in felt hats and trench-coats inhabit an intriguing Franco-American hybrid city.

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