December 6th, 2011: Rififi (1955)

What It’s About:  Recently released thief Tony le Stéphanois (Jean Servais) leads his compatriots in a carefully planned and timed robbery of a jewelry store, but of course, plans are meant to go wrong…

Why Watch it Today?: Today is St. Nicholas Day, and St. Nicholas is popularly considered the patron saint of thieves (though Brewer’s Dictionary of Fable thinks it is largely a pun on the use of nick to mean steal)Rififi is one of the best heist films of all time, with a justly famous 32 minute long heist sequence with no dialogue or score, as well as great performances by Servais in the lead and director Jules Dassin as the flawed  safe cracker Cesar le Milanais.

Where to Get It:  Netflix (rental), Libraries

The terrible trailer for the initial American release, complete with bad dubbing:

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