Film #308: UN FLIC aka DIRTY MONEY aka THE COP
Un Flic (aka Dirty Money aka The Cop)
2.75 out of 5 stars
In this, Jean-Pierre Melville’s last movie, we get a nearly silent film which details two robberies - one which takes place in a bank, and the other which is an elaborate heist aboard a moving train. The first, which happens in the beginning moments of the film, is a tense little exercise so well done that it bodes well for the rest of the film. The second shows a brilliant filmmaker clearly being hobbled by a low budget. The story is that of a cop played by Alain Delon (LE SAMOURAI) who is having an affair with Catherine Deneuve (THE HUNGER, REPULSION) who is his best friend’s girl. Unbeknownst to the cop, his best friend, played by Richard Crenna (THE EVIL, RAMBO), is a thief of the highest order. Anyway, the story rattles along and is a little on the slow side, spending far too much run time on the little shit (ie, guys packing briefcases with dope, changing clothes, putting money into sacks, etc) which bogs the proceedings down immeasurably. The worst of it though is the aforementioned train heist with its blatant use of miniature sets and model trains & helicopters sitting in for the real thing. It is unconvincing and looks like the train should have Lionel on the side of it. In the end, the film is just ok… but it is diminished when you factor in this filmmaker’s filmography. I mean, Melville made ARMY OF SHADOWS, LE CERCLE ROUGE, LE DOULOS, BOB LE FLAMBEUR, and LE SAMOURAI for chrissakes! Compared to those films, this is an absolute travesty. Recommended mostly for Melville completists, but heist movie fans may find a thing or two to hold their interest here. Look for the great character actor, Michael Conrad (HILL STREET BLUES, THE LONGEST ROAD) in a small role as The Driver/Helicopter Pilot.