Friday, October 10, 2014

Force yourself to watch a proper film this weekend

Ever since I was a teenager people have been telling me to see the French gangster film "Rififi", made in 1955. I've been so convinced by their argument that it's a classic I've probably told people that I've seen it when I hadn't. This week I finally got round to actually seeing it on Netflix.

Of course it's brilliant. Now that I'm older I can appreciate things about it that I wouldn't have quite got when I was a kid: the look of post-war Paris, the shiny old cars, the glistening pavements, the cruel glitter in the eyes of the leading man, the extraordinary look of the jazz clubs, the half-hour robbery sequence which is done without words, the difficulty of making a phone call and the way that feeds into the drama.

Amazing how often when you've got a choice between the old thing that you know will be great and the flashy new thing which you know will disappoint you choose the latter and end up wasting your time and money. Henceforth I shall try not to do that.


  1. Elevator To The Gallows is another vintage French crime movie that's all about tension with a plot that couldn't happen with modern technology.

    And a great Miles Davis score of course.

  2. I caught Rififi purely by chance one night. Flicking through the TV channels just before turning off and going to bed late one night (doesn't everyone do this) earlier in the year and just caught the beginning.... ended staying up and watching it through until the finish - mesmerising film..

  3. It’s a wonderful film. I’d recommend Night and the City and The Naked City from the same director.

    Found your blog a few weeks ago — glad I did.

  4. Watched The Third Man for the first time recently. What a wonderful film. You know that a film like this would never stand a chance of being made today.

  5. I watch old film regularly, particularly 'Casablanca' (perfect in every sense), 'The Maltese Falcon', 'The Asphalt Jungle', 'The Woman In The Window", 'The Trouble With Harry' (a Hitchcock black comedy), and 'The Titfield Thunderbolt' (an Ealing favourite).

  6. Check out "The Tresure of the Sierra Madre". Another fabulous old movie.