Jacques Becker

Touchez pas au grisbi

Touchez pas au grisbi

Jean Gabin is at his most wearily romantic as aging gangster Max le Menteur in the Jacques Becker gem Touchez pas au grisbi (Hands Off the Loot!). Having pulled off the heist of a lifetime, Max looks forward to spending his remaining days relaxing with his beautiful young girlfriend. But when Riton (René Dary), Max’s hapless partner and best friend, lets word of the loot slip to loose-lipped, two-timing Josy (Jeanne Moreau), Max is reluctantly drawn back into the underworld. A touchstone of the gangster-film genre, Touchez pas au grisbi is also pure Becker—understated, elegant, evocative.

Film Info

  • Jacques Becker
  • France
  • 1954
  • 96 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • French
  • Spine #271

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • 2002 video interview with actor Daniel Cauchy
  • Excerpt from an episode of the French television series Cineastes de notre temps dedicated to Jacques Becker, featuring screenwriter Maurice Griffe, Grisbi author Albert Simonin, actor Lino Ventura, and François Truffaut
  • 1972 interview excerpt with Lino Ventura
  • Clip from a 1978 interview with composer Jean Wiener
  • Theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
    New cover by Christine Ditrio

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • 2002 video interview with actor Daniel Cauchy
  • Excerpt from an episode of the French television series Cineastes de notre temps dedicated to Jacques Becker, featuring screenwriter Maurice Griffe, Grisbi author Albert Simonin, actor Lino Ventura, and François Truffaut
  • 1972 interview excerpt with Lino Ventura
  • Clip from a 1978 interview with composer Jean Wiener
  • Theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
    New cover by Christine Ditrio
Touchez pas au grisbi
Cast
Jean Gabin
Max le Menteur
René Dary
Henri Ducros, alias Riton
Paul Frankeur
Pierrot, the club owner (“Fats”)
Lino Ventura
Angelo
Michel Jourdan
Marco
Jeanne Moreau
Josy
Dora Doll
Lola
Denise Clair
Madame Bouche
Gaby Basset
Marinette, Pierrot’s wife
Paul Oettly
Oscar, the fence
Delia Scala
Huguette, his secretary
Daniel Cauchy
Fifi-le-Dingue
Vittorio Sanipoli
Ramon
Marilyn Buferd
Betty, the American
Credits
Director
Jacques Becker
Producer
Robert Dorfmann
Adaptation by
Jacques Becker
Adaptation by
Maurice Griffe
Adaptation by
Albert Simonin
Dialogue
Albert Simonin
Based on the novel by
Albert Simonin
Cinematography
Pierre Montazel
Editing
Marguerite Renoir
Production design
Jean d'Eaubonne
Music
Jean Wiener

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Explore

Jean Gabin

Actor

Jean Gabin
Jean Gabin

With his penetrating gaze, quiet strength, and unshakeable everyman persona, Jean Gabin was the most popular French matinee idol of the prewar period, and remains one of the great icons of cinema. Though his parents were cabaret performers, Gabin—born Jean-Alexis Moncorgé in 1904—put off show business at first, working instead as a laborer for a construction company. He eventually followed in his family’s footsteps, though, appearing onstage at various Paris music halls and theaters, including the Moulin Rouge. This led to roles in silent films, but it was with the advent of sound that Gabin found his true calling—even if his quiet stoicism was what he would become best known for. His work with director Julien Duvivier would prove his most important: they collaborated on two successful films in the midthirties (Maria Chapdelaine and La bandera), but it was their third, Pépé le moko, that, in creating the romantic criminal antihero archetype, shot Gabin into the stratosphere. As Michael Atkinson has written for Criterion, “Without its iconic precedent, there would have been no Humphrey Bogart, no John Garfield, no Robert Mitchum, no Randolph Scott, no Jean-Paul Belmondo (or Breathless or Pierrot le fou), no Jean-Pierre Melville or Alain Delon, no Steve McQueen . . .” Soon after Pépé, Renoir’s antiwar masterpiece Grand Illusion hit, and it was an even bigger smash, cementing Gabin’s superstar status; in this and all of his most successful roles (La bête humaine, Le jour se lève), Gabin played some form of working-class social outcast, and he always provided audiences with a strong point of identification. Following a brief, less successful stint in Hollywood and a period of fighting with the Allies in North Africa during World War II, Gabin saw his film career slow down, and he appeared mostly in supporting roles for a while (including in Ophuls’s Le plaisir). Jacques Becker’s 1954 heist thriller Touchez pas au grisbi was the comeback he needed, and it propelled him into a successful second act, which lasted until his death in 1976.