6712 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, California 90028

Wednesday, December 14 – 7:30 PM
Double Feature: RIFIFI, 1955, Rialto Pictures, 122 min. Dir. Jules Dassin. Back from the pen, tough guy Jean Servais rejoins his cronies and freshly imported safecracker César the Milanese (Dassin himself, billed as Perlo Vita) for a little jewelry-store smash-and-grab job - but Servais wants the whole works! The central heist is an edge-of-your-seat 30-minute sequence without dialogue or music, so detailed that it provided a feasible blueprint for real-life pros. "A vivid exercise that more or less invented the idea of French film noir... For the French, RIFIFI had Hollywood pizzazz; for Americans, it had continental sophistication. For both, it seemed to possess an authoritative naturalism." – J. Hoberman; "The best film noir I have ever seen. A marvel of skill and inventiveness." - François Truffaut. In French with English subtitles. [35mm]
TOPKAPI, 1964, MGM Repertory, 119 min. Dir. Jules Dassin. Melina Mercouri and lover Maximilian Schell, backed by a hand-picked team, find their carefully laid plans to heist emeralds from the Topkapi museum in Istanbul laid low by the bumblings of hanger-on Peter Ustinov - in an Oscar-winning performance (Supporting Actor) - then decide to go ahead anyway. Pioneer of the heist genre Dassin keeps tongue firmly in cheek but the suspense taut in this adaptation from intrigue titan Eric Ambler. The high-tech heist has been appropriated by everything from MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE to WALLACE & GROMIT! "As playful and lighthearted as Dassin's RIFIFI is stark and somber, TOPKAPI demonstrates that the director could make a heist picture in any manner he chose."– Time Out New York; "Remains unsurpassed for breathless suspense in its depiction of the jewel heist to end all jewel heists." – Terrence McNally, The New York Times [35mm]

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Added by AmericanCinematheque on November 29, 2011