Leontine (1968) Poster

(1968)

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5/10
Borsalino On Ilkley Moor
writers_reign17 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Michel Audiard was in the second wave of French screenwriters, emerging in the nineteen fifties, two full decades after the Titans - Jean Aurenche, Jacques Pervert, Charles Spaak, Henri Jeannson, Marcel Pagnol - and though he never eclipsed them or even equalled them he did turn out some half-decent screenplays, not least Tontons des flinguers, which was part of a new genre, the comic gangster film, for want of a better label. Alas, the genre was short lived and was dead and buried by 1968 when Audiard both wrote and made his directing debut with - to favour the short version of the title - Leontine. That eponymous character is played by Francoise Rosay, who, between 1911 and 1973, appeared in some 122 movies; Leontine was number 118. She plays a feared gangster whose main rival is Bernard Blier and they squabble over several gold bars. The bars had been stashed - after being 'removed' from a bank - in the apartment of Marlene Jobert, the mistress of Fred, one of the robbers but instead of sticking with Fred, she gives the gold to Charles (Blier) and is less than gruntled when he fails to give her a cut. Luckily she is the niece of Leontine and loses no time in putting Auntie in the picture. Cue gang war. One of the problems is the argot that was so successful in Touche pas au grisbi and Tontons des flinguers, now seems dated and archaic and much as we would like to we can't have arcaic and eat it.
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