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Friday, May 23, 2008

LE VOYOU/THE CROOK (1971)

This clever Claude Lelouch study of a criminal mastermind (Jean-Louis Trintignant) has an uninvolving and clumsy first act. But this turns out to be mere set up for a truly creepy, tense and witty child kidnaping scam anchored by a smashing perf from Dad (Charles Denner) who waits with his wife through a live radio variety show after giving their cute five year old to Trintignant thinking it's all part of a giveaway stunt. He’s poor, but he’s employed by a major bank. Will the board vote for the million dollar ransom? Lelouch has another nice surprise or two up his sleeve and almost pulls it all off.

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