English Review – Le Samouraï (1967)


Backed up with Alain Delon’s unique yet charming anti-hero character, The Samourai/Le Samouraï is a stylish and chronologically detailed modus operandi piece.

Le Samouraï would fit into many movie’s great lists; Greatest French Movie of All Time, Greatest 60’s Movie of All Time, Most Influential Crime Movie; Best of Noir Movie; Best Movie with almost minimalist dialog; A Classic Piece and even a magnificent Modus Operandi themed movie.

The movie opens with one memorable note; There is no greater solitude than that of the samurai unless it is that of the tiger in the jungle, perhaps. Speaking of which, reflects the movie very well in many aspects.

Jef Costello (Alain Delon) is a gunman, every moment he takes he does it precisely. Aware with any potential plan-B whatsoever, Joe is a neat criminal pocketing always a set of car keys which he will try it one by one whenever it’s a time for him to steal a car again and drives it to his partner-in-crime garage and leaves the car re-masked with another unique plate. Jef lives with tranquility in the dusty room with one accompany and one accompany only: a caged bird.

Jef seems has no casual life out of his professional job, no desire, no drinking. Engaged only with his loyal prostitute friend. Not Much.

Shit happens when he’s seen by witnesses after a killing task, which corners him much into trouble. However, it looks like Jef issue is getting more serious even when after a police investigation of witnesses claimed that he’s not the one; a police commissionaire truly believes that Jef is the perpetrator, and he will do whatever he can to break his alibi.

The Samourai is solidly taken care of. It is chronologically detailed and it definitely has its moments. I admired Delon character so much for its unique and refusing to become an attention performer. In our history of anti-hero movies, we have seen drunk men, perverts, big money deposits, black glasses, cigarettes, or some foul mouths. But not with Costello, he is calm and appears smart. This is very strange to know that I have a new standard for such a character for a movie that has already old.

It could be fulfilled with hats, coats, and footsteps over here, but The Samourai just makes it work nicely. The film keeps sliding into a worse situation but its dodgy ending couldn’t be more perfect. This movie always deserves a high praise.