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Filmstruck Queue: "Le Samourai"

Three thoughts about "Le Samourai" just as soon as I create a fantastic alibi:

1. I'd never heard of this movie until today, when I saw it as a Filmstruck offering. When I saw the ingredients — a sharp-dressed French assassin living by the samurai code — I was helpless. Play! And it's rare that I say this: This movie was everything I could've hoped it would be. Smart. Funny. Stylish. Sexy. With a fantastically tragic ending that, yeah, you kind of see coming, but they sell the hell out of it. I hadn't heard of this movie 12 hours ago. I think it's one of my favorite movies ever, now.

2. Just non-stop with the beautiful people. I mean...

Guys, I'm straight, but even I know Alain Delon circa 1967 is about as pretty as it gets.

I mean....

I'm blinded by all the beauty.

I know I know. Movies have beautiful people. What can I say? Even the extras were knockouts in this flick.

3. There's a scene when our protagonist takes his stolen car to a mechanic to make "legit" on the streets. I thought to myself: "Seems like Brian Cranston's character in 'Drive.'"

Wikipedia informs me that Walter Hill's 1978 thriller "The Driver" was "heavily influenced" by "Le Samourai." And, of course, "The Driver" was a huge influence on Ryan Gosling's "Drive."

Knowing your movie history can be tremendous fun, kids.

Bonus note: Other movies that owe a debt include John Woo's "The Killer" and (of course) Jim Jarmusch's "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai" featuring Forest Whitaker as the Japanese-influenced hitman. Again: Knowing your movie history can be tremendous fun.


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