MovieChat Forums > Le DoulosĀ (1962) Discussion > A masterful Film Noir, not for the faint...

A masterful Film Noir, not for the faint of heart.


This movie really sets up the story in a magnificent way, and by the end it goes straight for the jugular.

A beautiful thing about this picture; you're constantly feeling like you're trying to catch up to what's going on. You're never ahead of the story here, you're going to be kept guessing, and guess what? You guess wrong.

And then you get to the ending and it all feels so inevitable. Melville is in complete command of the script and the frame, and you're hopelessly hooked on the trench coats, the rain, and dizzying number of double crosses.

A famous noir villain once said, "you might THINK you know what's going on here, but believe me, you don't". And when the ending comes it just rips your heart out.

What a ride. This is surely a favorite of mine. If you want to have the ultimate night of the truly dark side of film noir, pair this one night with Odd Man Out. Talk about getting hit by a ton of bricks...

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Watched it a couple of days ago, enjoyed it a lot. As you said it's a struggle trying to understand what is going on, specially since you always miss some things when you don't understand the spoken language.

SPOILERS
I was watching it with others and at the scene where Silien was trying to convince the girl that she "heard" the shots someone in the group was hella confused so I told him my prediction that Silien was going for two things simultaneously, getting the girl free from her past and by her edited confession the police would be forced to let Maurice walk and thus Sillien would be able to kill him and revenge Salignari's death. Turned out I was right.

Of course I don't think there was any clue to predict that inside his cell Maurice would order a hit and the way that whole thing would turn out. It's a typical thing though that so great plans in films in the end almost always fail to something small or random. Specifically in a dark movie like this and with the main guy (Silien) having performed so many "bad" actions (killing Maurice's girl) I expected him to die in the end one way or another).

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Not a masterpiece, Silien fate, as it is, feels completely out of character
A twist that betrays the entire psychology of the character and the film

Melville direction was great as always, but that alone isn't enough to call it "masterful"

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