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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • English Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • French Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Exclusive video interview with director Jules Dassin
  • Set design drawings by Alexandre Trauner
  • Production stills
  • Production notes
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Optional English dubbed soundtrack

Rififi


Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Jules Dassin
Starring: Jean Servais, Carl Mohner, Robert Manuel, Janine Darcey, Pierre Grasset, Robert Hossein, Marcel Lupovicu, Dominique Morin, , Marie Sabouret, Claude Sylvain, Perlo Vita
1955 | 118 Minutes | Licensor: Gaumont

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $29.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #115 | Out of print
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: April 24, 2001
Review Date: January 14, 2012

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SYNOPSIS

After making such American noir classics as The Naked City and Brute Force, blacklisted director Jules Dassin went to Paris and embarked on his masterpiece: a twisting, turning tale of four ex-cons who hatch one last glorious heist in the City of Lights. At once naturalistic and expressionistic, this melange of suspense, brutality, and dark humor was an international hit and earned Dassin the Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Criterion is proud to present Rififi in a pristine digital transfer.

Forum members rate this film 8.6/10

 

Discuss the film and DVD here   


PICTURE

Criterion presents Jules Dassinís Rififi in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this dual-layer disc. Because of the aspect ratio it has not been enhanced for widescreen televisions.

Rififiís transfer would actually be pretty solid if it wasnít for the fact itís interlaced. Detail is decent and the print is in fine enough shape but the interlaced transfer presents all sorts of issues. Jagged edges are rampant along with ghosting and pixilation. Contrast looks to have been boosted a bit which causes some details to get lost in darker sequences.

Sadly it doesnít look very good but Iím hoping Criterion may revisit it. (UK distributor Arrow released a Region B Blu-ray edition that looks very sharp. Iíd recommend that one if you have the ability to play back region B titles.)

5/10

All DVD screen captures are presented in their original size from the source disc. Images have been compressed slightly to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

The Dolby Digital mono track is okay, limited by its age. Audio quality is decent enough with a little bit of noise present. Dialogue sounds fairly clear but has an edge to it. Music has been cranked a bit, though, and it creates a very unpleasant, harsh effect. It could be better admittedly but itís not ear-piercingly bad.

5/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Rififiís only big supplement is an excellent 30-minute interview with Jules Dassin that Criterion recorded in 2001. Dassin first opens with a great story about being recruited to play in a studio baseball game (Fox vs. MGM) and then talks about the painful experience of being blacklisted. In this section he doesnít only talk about his own experiences, which made life difficult professionally and personally, but also shares stories of others, including the effect it had on those people that did ďname namesĒ. He talks about the long dry spell where he couldnít find work anywhere (Hollywood studios threatened to not show films made by overseas studios if they worked with Dassin) until he was finally able to make Rififi in France. The last half of the interview covers the book and the making of the film. Absolutely great interview thatís worth watching.

Criterion then includes text production notes and a stills gallery, both of which you navigate through using your remote. Finally thereís a theatrical trailer, and the insert includes a short essay on Dassin and the film by Jamie Hook.

Disappointingly slight but the interview is great.

3/10

CLOSING

Bland edition, the only strong aspect of which is the entertaining interview with the director. Unfortunately everything else, which includes the interlaced transfer, audio, and remaining supplements, leaves a lot to be desired. With a nice looking Blu-ray edition available overseas hopefully Criterion will see fit to revisit this film.


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