Classe Tous Risques
This little-seen 1960 crime yarn sticks out like a genre thumb in the filmography of ruminative director Claude Sautet. One, it boats the unbelievably hip cast of Lino Ventura, 1950s bombshell Sandra Milo, and Jean-Paul Belmondo, who spent 1960—with Jean Seberg in À bout de soufflé, Jeanne Moreau in Moderato cantabile, Sophia Loren in La Ciociara, and with Milo here—starring opposite some of the most exquisite women the movies have ever seen. Two, Sautet is best know as a director of classy discretion—see Un Coeur en hiver, César et Rosalie, Une histoire simple, and the stunning Les Choses de la vie—and Classe Tous Risques (aka The Big Risk) delves into street-shot, New Wave-ish genre machinations. Abel (Ventura) is a thug hiding out in Italy who only needs the proverbial one last score before getting out of the game for good. This Milan job—dig the car chase and beach shootout—lands Abel in Nice needing a ride to Paris, and he sends word to his former Parisian criminal pals to send a driver. And once that driver (Belmondo) arrives, Classe wanders down those well-trod formulaic paths of honor and loyalty among criminals. Fairly conventional, but done with flair.