cannes robbery


An armed thief broke into the prestigious Carlton Hotel in Cannes, France. He stole $53 million dollars of jewels, targeting a diamond exhibition by designer Leviev.

The media has drawn attention to the Alfred Hitchcock film To Catch A Thief (1955, starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly) that features the hotel and takes place in the French riviera.

At Fresh Air, we thought of something else:

That same year (1955) a low budget French Film Noir called Du Rififi Chez Les Hommes (often shortened to Rififi) directed by Jules Dassin tells the story of a has-been criminal that hires a team of charismatic thieves and safe-breakers to pull of a jewelry heist at a famous Parisian boutique. The film is said to be the archetypal heist film that inspired the Ocean’s Eleven series. The cinematography is stunning, implementing Noir’s key characteristic: dramatic lighting.  Rififi is captivating from beginning to end, especially its iconic 30 minute silent break-in sequence that will have you sweating. 

Check it out under the Criterion Collection.