My 100 Favorite Movies - #83
In some quarters considered the "grandaddy" of the heist film (my favorite genre), that is not an entirely accurate characterization, as The Asphalt Jungle, among others, predates this film. Still, it's an outstanding example of the genre. Bob is a down-on-his-luck gambler preparing for a casino heist. What happens next, the characters, and more importantly, the audience, does not see coming. Moody, but not bloated with self-importance (unlike some other, similar films of that time period), Bob le Flambeur, seen today, does not appear dated at all, and retains interest for the plot machinations, the cinematography, and the acting. Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville (legendary not merely for his filmmaking, but also for his work with the French resistance), here is an example of film noir at its finest, and also a precursor to the French new wave.