original film poster
|Directed by||Jean-Pierre Melville|
|Produced by||Robert Dorfmann|
|Written by||Jean-Pierre Melville|
|Music by||Michel Colombier|
|Edited by||Patricia Nény|
|October 1972 (France)|
|Country||France / Italy|
1,464,806 admissions (France)
Delon had previously worked with Melville on Le Samouraï (1967) and Le Cercle Rouge (1970) playing the role of a criminal. In Un Flic Delon's role is reversed. He plays the cop, Édouard Coleman, in pursuit of Simon, a notorious Paris thief, who is very hard to pin down.
"The only feelings mankind has ever inspired in policemen are those of indifference and derision..." (Eugène-François Vidocq)
After a raid on a bank in a seaside town, four Parisien gangsters flee after a cashier sets off the alarm with only part of the loot and with one of the men, Marc Albois, wounded by the cashier, who Marc then shoots dead. They put Marc in a private clinic and disperse. Their leader, Simon, owns a night club which is visited regularly by police detective Coleman to keep an eye on Simon and pick up information. Coleman also hopes to see the beautiful Cathy, who is Simon's mistress but spends occasional afternoons with Coleman in a hotel room. Fearing that the police will find and question Marc, Simon sends Cathy into the clinic dressed as a nurse to give the dying man a fatal air embolism after an attempt to take him away fails.
Simon's next project is to steal a large quantity of heroin being transported out of France by a rival gang on the night express from Paris to Lisbon. From a helicopter, he is lowered onto the speeding train in the empty countryside south of Bordeaux, knocks out the courier with chloroform, and is successfully winched up with the drugs. Coleman, knowing that the dead Marc was friends with Louis Costa, Coleman arrests him and gets him to confess the names of his accomplices.
Coleman goes to the club and questions Simon, who denies that he knows Marc or Louis. Simon immediately telephones the fourth member of the gang, Paul, an ex bank manager, to warn him, but the police arrive before he can flee and Paul shoots himself.
Simon hides out in a hotel and rings Cathy to pick him up. However, the police have tapped Cathy's phone and, as Simon emerges from the hotel carrying an attaché case full of heroin, the waiting Coleman draws a gun and challenges him. As Simon seems to be reaching inside his coat for a gun, Coleman shoots him dead while Cathy watches helplessly from her car. However, when Coleman inspects Simon's body, he finds that he had no gun, leading him to think it was suicide by cop. Coleman is called away on another case, leaving a pensive Cathy alone. The film ends with a long shot on Coleman's face as he drives away.
Cast and crew
- Alain Delon as Commissaire Edouard Coleman
- Richard Crenna as Simon
- Catherine Deneuve as Cathy
- Riccardo Cucciolla as Paul Weber
- Michael Conrad as Louis Costa
- Paul Crauchet as Morand
- Simone Valère as Paul's wife
- André Pousse as Marc Albouis
- Jean Desailly as Distinguished gentleman who was robbed of a statue
- Valérie Wilson as Gaby
- Henri Marteau as Police officer instructor of shooting
- Box Office information for film at Box Office Story