"There is no greater solitude than that of the samurai unless it is that of the tiger in the jungle... Perhaps..." – Bushido, "Book of the Samurai." Perhaps the cultiest of Jean-Pierre Melville's films, LE SAMOURAÏ features Alain Delon giving a sphinxlike performance as Jef Costello, a quirkily obsessive hitman who is single-mindedly devoted to his profession. After his most recent job leaves behind some loose ends, which greatly displeases his employers, Jef attempts to puzzle out what went wrong and what his employers ultimately want. The influence of LE SAMOURAÏ can be found across dozens of later films, including explicit homages in films by John Woo, Walter Hill, Nicolas Winding Refn, Jim Jarmusch, Johnnie To and Pang Ho-Cheung. DIR/SCR Jean-Pierre Melville; SCR Georges Pellegrin, from the novel by Joan McLeod; PROD Raymond Borderie, Eugène Lépicier. France/Italy, 1967, color, 103 min. In French with English subtitles. NOT RATED
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