Le Deuxième Souffle
1966 / 150m - France
Crime, Thriller
Second Wind poster


March 30, 2024


A pretty typical Melville. His films are quite dry and stoic, though never as forced or barren as Bresson's work. It's a shame the runtime is often a little too excessive because other than that, they're entertaining, rather stylish crime classics. Second Wind is a perfect example, and in that sense a pretty decent entry film into Melville's oeuvre.

After escaping from prison, a notorious gangster plans to escape to Italy. He needs money and plans one more heist, but a detective gets to him and traps him into disclosing the name of his partner in crime. The gangster loses his credibility, and he's not just running from the law anymore.

The performances are decent, the pacing is solid and the lack of a soundtrack actually plays in the film's favor. The crime elements feel quite realistic but are still stylized enough, it's just that the 150-minute runtime was a bit too much. A more compact film would've been better, but I've seen way worse noirs.