Le Samouraï (The Godson)
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Long considered a classic of European film noir, this existential gangster drama from French director Jean-Pierre Melville was released in the United States only in a severely truncated, re-edited, and overdubbed version entitled The Godson. Thirty years after its initial public airing, Le Samourai (1967) finally saw a limited American release in its intended form. Alain Delon stars as Jef Costello, a professional Parisian assassin-for-hire who, by nature of his work's solitary demands, has no friends. Although he is loved by Jane Lagrange (Natalie Delon, the star's real-life wife),… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Cold, masterly, without pathos, and not even particularly sympathetic; it has the noble structure of accuracy."
‑ Penelope Gilliatt, New Yorker
"[Melville's] style remains haunting and elegantly spare, just right for the kind of hit man who lives in silence, in bare and colorless surroundings, with a lonely caged bird."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"an enjoyably stylish entry in the French crime film tradition, but a decidedly minor one"
‑ Jay Antani, Cinema Writer
"By far the coolest."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"The film has been a tremendous influence to the crime drama genre."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Delon's inscrutable presence adds to an unnerving atmosphere of anticipation. You feel that something bad could come crashing into the frame at any second. And you would be right."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Le samourai expresses a kind of loneliness to be sure, but it's that of a teenage male dreaming about Hollywood movies and their accoutrements -- penthouse apartments, acerbic cops, melancholy city streets, smoky card games, fancy jazz nightclubs."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"A major work from a highly influential director -- Walter Hill and John Woo have both taken a lesson or two -- yet one whose films have been, until now, inexplicably neglected in the U.S."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Making films this good wasn't a principle for Melville, it was a habit."
‑ Chris Cabin, Filmcritic.com
"Even if its influence on contemporary filmmakers weren't so striking and acknowledged, Le Samourai would stand well enough on its own merits, strongly suggesting that some of the greatest films of the future may well come from the past."
‑ Wade Major, Boxoffice Magazine
"Melville's film had a major influence in Hollywood."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"One of the pleasures of Le Samourai is to realize how complicated the plot has grown, in its flat, deadpan way."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Achieves an atmosphere of mesmerizing, otherworldly beauty and grace."
‑ Nick Schager, Slant Magazine
"Le Samouraï's narrative players are designed for easy interpretation. This fosters the plot's complication, as well as Melville's inimitably stylistic filmmaking"
‑ Rumsey Taylor, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
"One of the better examples of genre cinema."
‑ Dragan Antulov, rec.arts.movies.reviews
More reviews for Le Samouraï (The Godson) on Rotten Tomatoes

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