Classe Tous Risques translates to “The Big Risk” and it begins with just that as two crooks, one awesomely slicked back and tooth-picked and one you might recognize from other noirs of the French New Wave played by actor Lino Ventura, commit a brazen daylight robbery. The risk is necessary because Abel (Ventura) is a desperate man who has been on lam for years in need of some money to get out of Italy as the local police close in.?The escape is made even more difficult and grave as he's traveling with his wife and two adorable young boys who are always performing doe eyed acts of cuteness like eating sugar from their hands and falling asleep in get away cars.
Fortunately for Abel he's done enough no gooders good to call in a few favors but most of his friends seem to have pretty short memories and instead of helping the guy out himself, they find a reliable stranger. Enter Jean Paul Belmondo and where Belmondo goes, the dames follow. Here, again he reminds me of what a doll he was. If quirky French men with oodles of charm are your thing, that you owe yourself a marathon of his films.
This stark, almost quiet noir is a great one to include. It's a sometimes sad, sometimes violent chapter in the french new wave about loyalty, betrayal, and revenge. It shows the reality that a life on the run is a fairly terrible thing that can bring down the toughest and best of men. It portrays the last hurrah of a lifetime criminal at the end of the road, and while the bodies pile up and he's certainly not afraid to use a gun it ends not with a bang but a whimper.
Classe Tous Risques was released on Criterion as well as other Rialto Pictures of the french noir genre like Les Deuxieme Souffle which I also watched this week but found to be over long and disappointing despite a great night club featuring bee hived and long legged lovelies doing a synchronized smoking act.