Review: ‘Borsalino’

Paramount put a reported $2 million into this $3 million pic, produced by one of the stars (Alain Delon) via his own company, Adel. Based on the real gangster milieu of Marseille in the 1930s, pic laces together French lowlife aspects with a more probing look at organized crime in the Hollywood manner via the rise and fall of two young hoodlums. Problem is that pic [from Eugene Saccomano's novel Bandits at Marseilles] is more a vehicle for its stars' personalities than a more cogent insight into French pre-war organized gangsters.

Paramount put a reported $2 million into this $3 million pic, produced by one of the stars (Alain Delon) via his own company, Adel. Based on the real gangster milieu of Marseille in the 1930s, pic laces together French lowlife aspects with a more probing look at organized crime in the Hollywood manner via the rise and fall of two young hoodlums. Problem is that pic [from Eugene Saccomano’s novel Bandits at Marseilles] is more a vehicle for its stars’ personalities than a more cogent insight into French pre-war organized gangsters.

Delon is a secretive, ambitious and cruel type, while Jean-Paul Belmondo is an easygoing, engaging hoodlum who is content with small jobs. They meet when Delon gets out of jail and finds his girl, a prostie, has taken up with somebody else. They join forces, the girl becomes a part of the scheme, and then begins the climb instigated by Delon.

Delon has sharp grace and poise as the handsome, more cultured, facet of the duo, while Belmondo displays his usual ease, good nature but physical deadliness with aplomb.

Others all acquit themselves well, with Corinne Marchand stately as a lawyer’s wife, Michel Bouquet ironic and menacing as the lawyer with connections, and Daniel Ivernel excellent as a police inspector who only interferes when the gangsters tread on political toes.

Title refers to the big brimmed felt hats sported by the gangsters of the period manufactured by a reputable Italo firm.

Borsalino

France - US

Production

Adel/Paramount. Director Jacques Deray; Producer Alain Delon; Screenplay Jean-Claude Carriere, Claude Sautet, Jean Cau, Jacques Deray; Camera Jean-Jacques Tarbes; Editor Paul Cayatte; Music Claude Bolling; Art Director Francois de Lamothe

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1970. Running time: 123 MIN.

With

Alain Delon Jean-Paul Belmondo Michel Bouquet Catherine Rouvel Corinne Marchand Francoise Christophe
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading