Le Deuxième Souffle

  • Film
  • Thrillers
Made after three years 'in the wilderness' for Melville, this is his most elaborate and intricately plotted film noir, a labyrinthine exploration of loyalties and betrayals in the French underworld. It centres on an ageing gangster (Ventura at his most gnarled), in hiding after escaping from jail, who involves himself in a daring highway robbery while waiting to be smuggled out of the country. The steely location photography gives the action a veneer of realism, but the film's real energies are subterranean, and suffused with Melville's typical poetry: the bizarre interdependence of cop and criminal here is seen with the same eyes as the passionate love/hate of the brother and sister in Les Enfants Terribles.

Release details

Duration: 150 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Screenwriter: Jean-Pierre Melville
Cast: Lino Ventura
Paul Meurisse
Raymond Pellegrin
Christina Fabrega
Pierre Zimmer
Michel Constantin
Denis Manuel
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