Casinos -- France -- Drama, Gamblers -- France -- Drama, Gangsters -- France -- Drama, Larceny -- France -- Drama

Bob le flambeur

(Bob the Gambler)


Roger Duchesne, Isabelle Corey, Daniel Cauchy, André Garret,

Bob le flambeur is Melville’s love poem to Paris’s Pigalle and its lowlife denizens. It’s a gangster film that is turned by Melville’s taste for the absurd into what he calls “a comedy of manners,” albeit cast in the shades of the pure policier. An aging safecracker and compulsive gambler, Bob (Roger Duchesne) lives by night and sleeps by day, and thrives on his nostalgia for the prewar gangster milieu, before the infiltration of the Gestapo upset the delicate balance between cop and criminal. He cruises Paris streets in a big American car dogged by a daring camera, a swinging jazz track, and a cool obsession. Bob’s going for the big stakes now: the casino vault in Deauville. “I like futility of effort,” Melville said. “The uphill road to failure is a very human thing. . . . Even so, Bob is still a light-hearted film, [one that] ends on a pirouette.”

Judy Bloch
  • Jean-Pierre Melville
  • Henri Decaë
  • French
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 35mm
  • 98 mins
  • Rialto Pictures

CineFiles is an online database of BAMPFA's extensive collection of documentation covering world cinema, past and present.

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Bob le flambeur (review), Time Out New York, Stephen Garrett, 2001

Hell and high water (review), Village Voice, J. Hoberman, 2001

Jean-Pierre Melville: the French connection (program note), Pacific Film Archive, Judy Bloch, 1996

The road to Melville (article), Village Voice, Elliott Stein, 1996

[Bob le flambeur] (review), Village Voice, Andrew Sarris, 1985

Bob le flambeur: when old is new (review), Reader (Los Angeles, Calif.), David Ehrenstein, 1982

Vive Bob! (review), East Bay Express, Michael Covino, 1982

Jean-Pierre Melville: the rebellious classicist (review), Village Voice, Andrew Sarris, 1982

Bob le flambeur (program note), Toronto International Film Festival, 1982

Jean-Pierre Melville in context (program note), Chris Peachment

Displaying 10 of 16 publicly available documents.

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