Under the lens of cultural and historical context, as well as understanding the reflective nature of popular culture, it's hard not to read this film as a cautionary tale about the limitations of isolationism.
Hailed as a classic in the cop genre, its legacy as the first R-rated film to win the Oscar for Best Picture is undeniable. As if that weren’t enough, a viewing 40 years later reveals how literal the title is: it’s a crime film that bridges '60s French and American cinema.
Today runs the gamut. Hollywood to indie art house, female perspective to male, screwball comedy to chamber drama. The odyssey from Ernst Lubitsch to Vincente Minnelli will provide illumination on how film's first special effects were used, how two brothers presciently preceded reality TV in the Hamptons, and why some directors prefer to work about once a decade on average...
A partnership between the tough suspense artist Jean- Pierre Melville and the precocious Jean Cocteau might look odd, but the tensions and conflicts served the twisted, mythic world of Les Enfants Terribles rather nicely.