This landmark caper film shows the robbery of a Parisian jewelry store and the complications that follow for the thieves--mastermind Tony (Jean Servais), a recently released ex-con who may or may not have a terminal respiratory problem; Jo (Carl Mohner), whom Tony served time to protect;
safecracker Cesar (the film's director, Jules Dassin, acting under the pseudonym Perlo Vita); and Mario (Robert Manuel)--all of them surprisingly decent men. The film's centerpiece is a 28-minute sequence that captures the robbery itself in fascinating detail, employing neither dialogue nor music,
allowing only the actual sounds of the thieves at work to be heard. Once the heist is...