Tuesday, 8 January 2008

UN FLIC /Dirty Money/A Cop (1972)

I first saw this on television in the 1970's in a dubbed version and with the plot interupted by adverts. Having already seen Jean-Pierre Melville's SECOND BREATH I found UN FLIC bitterly disappointing except for an atmospheric bank robbery at the beginning which is set on a windswept seafront. The film was championed by a penfriend who had seen the original French version in Germany. Over the years the film has retreated in my memory to a point where I really wanted to rev-evalute it, especially as over the years I have seen nearly all Jean-Pierre Melville's other films and he has become one of my favourite French directors. Well, I finally tracked it down on DVD and guess what ? I still find it bitterly disappointing. Sure, the opening robbery still looks pretty good but what follows could be any European co-production of the period. The star is Alain Delon who had been the Melville hero par-exellence in LE CERCLE ROUGE and LE SAMOURAI. Here his usually effective deadpan does nothing for the character of the title character and American import Richard Crenna (who I have admired in many films) seems too lightweight as his criminal counterpart. The basic plot bears more than a passing resemblance to the later (and superior) HEAT directed by Michael Mann. The film's centre-piece is a heist involving a train and a helicopter but unfortunately what might have been gripping in another film falls flat here due to the very obvious models used for the train and helicopter. It's watchable but not at all what I would expect from Melville.

1 comment:

Cerpts said...

Absolutely fantastic to have you back!!!