Classe tous risque (The Big Risk / Rån på öppen gata, 1960)

UK BFI (British Film Institute) Blu-ray & DVD combo 2 disc edition

Claude Sautet (1924-2000) is one of my favourite directors with films as Les choses de la vie (1970), Un Mauvais fils (with the great Patrick
Dewaere in 1980 and with the cool swedish title "Rötägget") and Un Coeur en hiver (1991) but i haven't seen this early one until now.
This was his 2nd feature film as a director, but seen as his real debut by most and in this year 1960 he also co-scripted and was assistant
director on Georges Franju's horror masterpiece Les Yeux sans visage.

Now, to be totally honest i've to admit that i never really liked La Nouvelle vague - The French New Wave of the late 1950's and 1960's
that much .... arty farty, self-conscious and pretentious .... hey, look how cool we are, young and rebellious, we're so hip.
I much prefer the director's that just continued making their films their own way without any concerns about dogmatic rules, like Jean-Pierre
Melville, Robert Hossein or Claude Sautet. The last days i've seen 3 french crime movies in a row - Rififi, Classe tous risques and a Melville
film and they're so much better than the drivel in the genre that's made today.


Claude Sautet and Jean-Pierre Melville are probably my favourite French directors, but i suspect that the former, Sautet, isn't that well known
compared to the Nouvelle Vague directors. Unjust, and this hard-boiled and gritty gangster movie deserves it's accolades.
It's a story about a violent man, a gangster and murderer on the run, but also about a father of 2 children and Lino Ventura gives a Tour de
Force performance as Abel Davos
ably supported by a young Jean-Paul Belmondo as his only remaining ally.
Classes tous risques is surprisingly fast-paced and violent for it's time and surely one of the best Gangster On The Run films ever made.

The film starts off in Milano when Abel Davos and his buddy Raymond (Stan Krol) robs 2 bank couriers out on the street and then takes off
at full speed (both the film and our protagonists). A wild police chase ensues when Abel and Raymond heads for France, and a lot of people
are getting killed in the process. But, with his wife and buddy killed Abel finally reaches Nice with his 2 small sons and he contacts his old gang
for getting help to reach Paris. But, with Abel being the most hunted man in France they won't take the risk themselves, and instead they send
a young man, unknown by the police, to fetch Abel and the kids in Nice, Eric Stark (a non-stop smoking Jean-Paul Belmondo).
In Paris Abel needs money and robs a fence which results in gangster war and mayhem.

The Blu-ray film is presented in original 1.66:1 ratio, black & white, with a PCM french audio with english subtitles. Region B and DVD region 2
Extras: Monsieur Ventura - Documentary (35 minutes in french with english subs), trailer, US trailer and a Booklet with text