peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2024 02 18 LeDeuxiemeSouffle

Le deuxième souffle (Second Wind) (1966)

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And yet more Melville completism. This one was highly rated at IMDB, but then again most of his films are. In black and white. "Souffle" is apparently also a word in English for something breath related and not about the dessert.

This one is lengthy and not as sharp as the others of his I've seen. It's a heist flick (surprise) where the main character (played by Lino Ventura) is a prison escapee (surprise). Notionally it's about police brutality (Parisian Commissaire Paul Meurisse is a bit above it all but Marseilles Inspector Paul Frankeur knows the value of a good phone book) and a man wanting to restore his honour whatever the cost. "Manouche" Christine Fabréga runs a night club (surprise) and seems more enamoured of her brother than any other man. But the character portraits are not so strong here and I couldn't bring myself to care.

Strangely the crims now drive a large Mercedes and not a yank tank.