Le Deuxième souffle (Second Breath)
Le Deuxième souffle (Second Breath) (1966)

Veteran gangster Gustave (Lino Ventura) escapes from prison to find his sister is being blackmailed by some petty thugs in this crime thriller. He plans one last caper to steal enough money in hopes of retiring to a tropical paradise. He… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: November 1, 1966
DVD Release Date: October 7, 2008
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Available Online

Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Richard Brody
New Yorker

Melville distills emotions to rarefied minimalist gestures ... and offers a stringent morality of self-discipline, both his heroes' and his own.

Full review…
Fernando F. Croce

Second breath, inexorable suffocation

Full review…
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine

Characteristic of Melville's crime canon, the film's rigorously mannered aesthetic creates a decidedly artificial environment, and yet that environment is so meticulously, thoroughly realized that it's breathtakingly immersive.

Full review…
Time Out

A labyrinthine exploration of loyalties and betrayals in the French underworld.

Full review…
Chris Cabin

superbly restrained

Jeremy Heilman

The product of a director in complete control of his talents, Second Breath musters enough depth that by its conclusion it feels only nominally like a heist film.

Full review…
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

It isn't an easy film to watch, perhaps because it moves so deliberately in comparison to its American models, but this somber, repressive, and perverse work displays a ferocious moral and formal integrity.

Full review…
Sean Axmaker
Turner Classic Movies Online

Le Deuxieme Souffle is at heart a romantic fantasy of underworld loyalty and lives of calculated risk and violence anchored by brilliantly staged and shot set pieces...

Full review…

It's a long film which stretches its premise over 150 minutes, but a rewarding experinece nonetheless.

Full review…

Flixster Audience Score: 93% Flixster User Reviews
danny d
this is definitely one of those hiest films that needs to be seen more than once. the film bears the usual complexity of a melville creation, but with… More
Walter M.
In "Le Deuxieme Souffle," Inspector Blot(Paul Meurisse) is in disbelief that nobody claims to have seen anything at a shooting at a Paris restaurant… More
Stella Dallas
this is just the kind of stuff i love. melville's earlier films are more gritty and realistic than the highly stylized stuff he made later and this was… More
Eric Broome
Well worth seeing, but overlong. And the directing style is so dry and flat -- scarcely even any score to enliven the action -- that it further aggravates the… More