After making such American noir classics as Brute Force and The Naked City, blacklisted director Jules Dassin went to Paris to film what the Los Angeles Times called “one of the great crime thrillers, the benchmark all succeeding heist films have been measured against." A gang of master thieves concocts an almost impossible plan to rob a jewelry store on the Rue de Rivoli. Even though the wordless 30-minute robbery scene is delightfully low-tech, it provides white-knuckle suspense.

"The underworld equivalent of a sublime French meal, but as Rififi goes on, it becomes as savage as Reservoir Dogs, The Killing, or any of the other dozens of films over which it still casts a shadow.” —Entertainment Weekly

Check out the essay "Rififi: A Global Caper."

"Rififi was called by François Truffaut the best film noir he'd ever seen (it was based, he added, on the worst noir novel he'd ever read). Dassin's inspiration was to expand the safe-cracking job, which is negligible in the book, into a breathless sequence that occupies a fourth of the running time and is played entirely without words or music. So meticulous is the construction and so specific the detail of this scene that it's said the Paris police briefly banned the movie because they feared it was an instructional guide." —Roger Ebert

"Viewers become something like collaborators, invested in working out what, say, that umbrella is going to be used for—and then pleased to discover whether we've gotten it right or not." —Village Voice

"If elements of it seem overly familiar now, that's only because they were done first here, and picked up by every heist film that followed." —San Francisco Weekly

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Jules Dassin
French with English subtitles
Running Time
122 minutes