Le Samouraï

(The Godson)

Imported Print


Alain Delon, Françoise Perier, Nathalie Delon, Cathy Rosier,

Alain Delon gives one of his best performances as “The Samurai,” so called in obvious homage to the Japanese masterless ronin who answers only to an internalized code of honor. A killer by contract in the world of Paris nightclubs and hidden bosses, he has a polished, chilling method perfectly suited to Melville’s own style: economical and elegant, full of dangerous invention. When Le Samouraï was released here in 1972 as The Godson, one of the few critics to notice it was Penelope Gilliatt in the New Yorker. She called Melville “the poet of the implacable” and Le Samouraï “a sort of meditation on solitude, embodied in a lonely, rigorous mercenary. . . . It is a study of someone who listens all the time and seems to be responding to harmonics beyond most people’s range. Odd that it should be possible to give a killer so many of the attributes of the sanctified.”

  • Jean-Pierre Melville
  • Henri Decaë
  • French
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • 35mm
  • 109 mins
  • Courtesy Institut Français, thanks to the Cultural Services of the French Embassy
  • Janus Films