Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated Thrillers - Steve Q ""

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Underrated Thrillers - Steve Q

Steve Q blogs about terrible movies at and can be found on Twitter at @Amy_Surplice.
He also recently did an Underrated Westerns list you should check out:

When people look for thrillers, they rarely venture into foreign films, so I thought I'd cover French thrillers. "Wages of Fear" is perhaps the most tense film I've ever seen, "Diabolique" is a masterpiece and "Rififi" and "Topkapi" are classic heist films. If you haven't seen these - do so now! Claude Chabbrol is often called "the French Hitchcock, and his films are worth seeing. Assuming you've already discovered these, here's five lesser-known French thrillers.

Panique (1946)
Based on a George Simenon novel, this has been filmed a number of times, often under the title "Mr. Hire." It's a complicated film noir, with an innocent but eccentric man being assumed guilty of murder. He does, however, accidentally possess a photograph showing the real killer and just might use it for blackmail.

Le Choix des Armes (1981)
Starring Yves Montand, Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieux, this film has a man dying after a prison break asking his partner to take him to a couple for help, but they all end up at crossed purposes while being hunted by the police.

Le Corbeau (1943)
This film was highly controversial when released, because it was a French film directed under Nazi supervision. Someone's sending out poison-pen letters to a town's local leaders, causing unease and menace, including a doctor accused of performing abortions and having affairs. Soon, no one trusts anyone.

Plein Soleil (1960)
This is the first filmed version of Highsmith's novel "The Talented Mr. Ripley," directed by Rene Clement. It was hard to find until Martin Scorsese extolled its virtues and I think it's better than the more famous version with Matt Damon.

Le Samourai (1967)
This could easily be seen as just an exercise in style (it's visually arresting), but it's an excellent crime film as well. A professional hitman gets seen and tries to provide himself with an alibi, driving him ever further into a corner. It'd make an interesting double-bill with Jim Jamusch's "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai."

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