Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Pocket notebook sightings in Rififi

What can I say? I like these cameo appearances.

Rififi (1955) is an extraordinary movie by then-blacklisted Jules Dassin, director of The Naked City (1948) and Night and the City (1950). I'd liken Rififi to John Huston's The Asphalt Jungle (1950), another story of a perfect crime gone awry. The break-in and get-away sequences in Rififi offer 31 minutes without dialogue or music, only the sounds of a criminal masterpiece in progress.

Robbers and cops alike use pocket notebooks in Rififi. Robbers plan their heist ("Florist delivery 5:50"). Cops check for voitures volées (stolen cars). (Could traction be short for traction avant, front-wheel drive? A grey car with front-wheel drive?)

Rififi is available in a beautiful digital transfer from the Criterion Collection:

Rififi (The Criterion Collection)

Related posts
The dowdy world on film
Moleskine sighting
Pocket notebook sighting

comments: 2

Crritic! said...

Sadly, the wonderful Criterion Collection DVDs are only available in (I think) region 1, which I can't play.

We sometimes have other editions of the same movies, without the collection of extras on Criterions or the crystal clear transfers.

I know this region business can be got-around by those in the know, but I am not one of them.

Michael Leddy said...

Sad indeed, Sean. Yes, it looks as though the Criterion Collection is Region 1 only.

I have a friend in Europe who has these problems. The easy (non-technical) solution — I think — is to get an all-region or region-free DVD player.