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And God Created Jean-Louis Trintignant

Friday, April 5, 2013
9:05 p.m. The Outside Man
Jacques Deray (France, 1973)

“Perfect casting for Trintignant as a French hitman imported to America and efficiently executing his contract.”—Tom Milne, Time Out

(Un homme est mort). Jacques Deray is the post-Melville master of the série noire movie, and The Outside Man may be his masterpiece. Jean-Louis Trintignant plays a hit man dispatched from Paris to Los Angeles to assassinate the local mob boss, but his employers have set him up to take a hit from inside man Roy Scheider. He becomes an involuntary tourist, dependent on the kindness of strangers, notably Ann-Margret, the manager of a topless bar. Stripped of his passport and his rental car, he must make his way through a city that is portrayed without false glamour, and it seems that the filmmakers are discovering the city along with their protagonist.

—Thom Andersen

• Written by Jean-Claude Carrière, Deray, Ian McLellan Hunter. Photographed by Silvano Ippoliti, Terry K. Meade. With Jean-Louis Trintignant, Ann-Margret, Roy Scheider, Angie Dickinson. (110 mins, In French with English subtitles, Color, 35mm, From Park Circus)