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Poster for Classe tous risques (The Big Risk)
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Classe tous risques (The Big Risk)

Opens on July 6

Director: Claude Sautet Run Time: 110 min. Format: DCP Release Year: 1960 Language: French with English subtitles

Starring: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Lino Ventura, Sandra Milo

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Written by ex-con José Giovanni, Claude Sautet’s debut feature emanates an insider’s view of the postwar Parisian crime world, as well as a tenderness sometimes pointedly lacking in Melville’s hardened milieu. Grizzled former wrestler Lino Ventura plays Abel, an aging French gangster in exile in Milan after his last job left him persona non grata in Paris. Now a family man, Abel longs for his home country and hatches a plan to embark on a seemingly uncomplicated heist to fund a return trip. Neither the heist nor the trip goes as planned, and soon Abel finds himself in southern France, separated from his wife and children, with a young chaperon he has never met before (played by Jean-Paul Belmondo in his first role after Breathless). Betraying Sautet’s affinity for the films of Budd Boetticher and Howard Hawks, the road trip that ensues, underscored by the sweeping music of Georges Delerue, gives the film the open-air canvas of a Western, but the terse, unsentimental way with dialogue is entirely his and Giovanni’s own.

Text by Carson Lund.


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