Blacklisted from Hollywood and exiled from the US, in 1955 Jules Dassin directed Rififi, the film that set the pattern heist films have been following ever since. Drawing on Dassin's background in Hollywood directing some of the most powerful films noir (Naked City, Brute Force, Thieves Highway), Rififi blends this American tradition with the French doomed criminal films of the Thirties to create a nihilist fable about betrayal that remains at the same time an engaging and suspenseful thriller. The film sharpens noir's fatality into an Existentialist fable, that also reflects Dassin's own feeling about McCarthyite America. (Jules Dassin, 1955, 35mm print courtesy of Rialto Pictures, 115 minutes)
Professor Tom Gunning, Committee on Cinema & Media Studies, introduces the film and leads an audience discussion.