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The Red Circle / Le Cercle rouge

The Red Circle / Le Cercle rouge

A Feature film by Jean-Pierre Melville

Produced by Les Films Corona

Release in France : 20/10/1970

  • Contents

Actors (25)

Production and distribution (4)

Executive Producer :

Les Films Corona

Film exports/foreign sales :

StudioCanal Films Limited

Foreign production companies :

Selenia Cinematografica, Euro International Film (EIA)

French distribution :

Les Films Corona

Box Office: Total results

Box office: Timeline

International releases (4)

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TV Broadcasts: Cumulative total

TV broadcasts: details by country


Corey is a cool, aristocratic thief, released from prison on the same day that Vogel, a murderer, escapes from the custody of the patient Mattei, a cat-loving police superintendent. Corey robs Rico, his mob boss, then enlists Vogel and an ex-police sharpshooter, Jansen, in a jewel heist. While Corey is harried by the vengeful Rico, Mattei pressures Santi, a nightclub owner and pimp, to help him trap the thieves. Over all hangs the judgment of the police directeur, that every man is guilty.

Source : IMDb



Vincent Canby, in a 1993 review of a 99-minute version dubbed into English, said the film "may baffle anyone coming upon him for the first time"; according to Canby:

    Though severely cut, The Red Circle doesn't exactly sweep along. It has a deliberate pace as Melville sets up the story of three chance acquaintances who plan and carry out the sacking of an elegant, supposedly impregnable jewelry store...Understatement is the method of the film, from Melville's pared-down screenplay to the performances by the three trenchcoated principals, even to the muted photography by Henri Decae, which is in color but has the chilly effect of black and white.

Peter Bradshaw, in a 2003 review of a 102-minute reissue, called the film a "treat" and noted "Melville blends the Chandleresque world of his own devising with gritty French reality. With its taut silent robbery sequence, his movie gestures backwards to Rififi, and with Montand's specially modified bullets it anticipates Frederick Forsyth's Day of the Jackal and the contemporary techno-thriller."

Hong Kong director John Woo wrote an essay for the Criterion DVD of Le Cercle rouge arguing the film's merits. When the film was given a theatrical re-release, Woo was given a "presenter" credit.

Source : Wikipedia

Full credits (15)

Assistant directors :

Bernard Stora, Pierre Tati

Screenwriter :

Jean-Pierre Melville

Sound recordists :

Jacques Carrère, Guy Chichignoud

Assistant Operators :

Jean-Paul Cornu, François Lauliac

Production Manager :

Pierre Quefféléan

Assistant editors :

Christine Grenet, Elisabeth Sarradin

Music Composer :

Éric Demarsan

Sound Mixer :

Jean Nény

Producers :

Jacques Dorfmann, Robert Dorfmann

Director of Photography :

Henri Decaë

Sound Assistant :

Victor Revelli

Camera Operator :

Charles-Henri Montel

Editor :

Marie-Sophie Dubus

Continuity supervisor :

Jacqueline Parey

Production Designer :

Théobald Meurisse

Technical details

Feature film

Genres :


Sub-genre :

Film noir

Production language :


Coproducer countries :

France, Italy

Original French-language productions :


Nationality :

Majority French (France, Italy)

Production year :


French release :


Runtime :

2 h 20 min

Current status :


Visa number :


Visa issue date :


Approval :


Production formats :


Color type :