Emelyne Bancroft

Emelyne Bancroft

Modified & Updated: 07 Sep 2023

Source: Plex.tv

Rififi is a classic crime thriller that has captivated moviegoers for decades. Released in 1955, this French film directed by Jules Dassin is considered a masterpiece of the heist genre. The movie follows a group of expert criminals as they plan and execute a daring jewelry heist in the heart of Paris. The film is known for its suspenseful plot, stunning cinematography, and unforgettable characters. Rififi has left an indelible mark on the history of cinema, influencing countless heist films that came after it. In this article, we will explore 45 fascinating facts about Rififi that highlight its significance and enduring popularity among movie enthusiasts. So sit back, grab some popcorn, and prepare to delve into the intriguing world of Rififi!

Table of Contents

The Inspiration Behind Rififi

Rififi, a French crime film directed by Jules Dassin, was released in The movie was based on the book of the same name written by Auguste Le Breton.

International Success

Rififi became an international success, gaining critical acclaim and commercial success not only in France but also around the world.

The Notable Heist Scene

The movie is best known for its 28-minute long heist scene, which is considered one of the most realistic and suspenseful heist sequences in film history.

Age Rating Controversy

Rififi faced age rating controversies due to its realistic violence and explicit content. In some countries, it was banned or heavily censored upon its release.

Cannes Film Festival Recognition

Rififi won the award for Best Director at the 1955 Cannes Film Festival, further solidifying its reputation as a groundbreaking film.

Jules Dassin’s Innovative Direction

Jules Dassin, the director of Rififi, employed innovative techniques such as using natural lighting and handheld cameras to create a gritty and realistic atmosphere.

Unconventional Casting Choice

The lead actor in Rififi, Jean Servais, was not the usual choice for a charismatic leading man. However, his portrayal of Tony le Stéphanois, a seasoned criminal, was lauded for its depth and authenticity.

The Suspenseful Silence

During the heist scene in Rififi, there is complete silence to build tension and create a sense of realism. This innovative approach was a departure from the usual use of background music in crime films.

Real-life Criminal Connections

Auguste Le Breton, the author of the book Rififi, had connections with real-life criminals and drew inspiration from their stories to create an authentic portrayal of the underworld.

The Theme of Loyalty

One of the central themes in Rififi is loyalty among criminals. The complex relationships between the characters add depth and emotion to the storyline.

Influence on Future Heist Films

Rififi had a significant influence on future heist films, setting the standard for realistic portrayals of criminal activities on the screen.

The Original Title

The original French title of the movie is “Du rififi chez les hommes,” which roughly translates to “Trouble Among Men” in English.

Critical Acclaim

Rififi received widespread critical acclaim for its realistic portrayal of the criminal underworld, gripping storyline, and memorable performances.

The Remake

In 2005, a remake of Rififi was released, but it did not achieve the same level of success or critical acclaim as the original.

The Controversial Criminal Code

Due to the explicit portrayal of criminal activities in Rififi, the movie had to adhere to France’s strict “Criminal Code,” which restricted the depiction of certain acts.

The Artistic Cinematography

Rififi is praised for its artistic cinematography, with well-framed shots and the use of shadows to enhance the overall mood and atmosphere.

The Process of Safecracking

Rififi showcases the intricate process of safecracking, offering a detailed and realistic portrayal of this criminal activity.

The Memorable Characters

Rififi features memorable characters, each with their own distinct personality and moral code, making them relatable and engaging to the audience.

The Stylish Wardrobe

The characters in Rififi are dressed in stylish attire that reflects the fashion of the era, adding to the overall aesthetic appeal of the movie.

The Unique Sound Design

Rififi utilized innovative sound design techniques, such as the absence of music during certain scenes to enhance the tension and suspense.

The Social Commentary

Beyond the thrilling heist plot, Rififi subtly explores social issues, such as poverty, desperation, and the impact of crime on society.

The Legacy of Rififi

Rififi has left a lasting legacy in the world of cinema, influencing crime films and heist movies for generations to come.

The International Distribution

Rififi was widely distributed internationally, introducing audiences worldwide to the unique storytelling and style of French cinema.

The Cutting-Edge Editing Techniques

Rififi employed cutting-edge editing techniques for its time, including fast-paced cuts and cross-cutting between different scenes to maintain tension and momentum.

The Powerful Climax

The climax of Rififi is intense and emotionally charged, leaving a lasting impact on the audience.

The Character Development

Rififi provides in-depth character development, allowing the audience to understand the motivations and personal struggles of each protagonist.

The Influence on Pop Culture

Rififi has contributed significantly to pop culture, with its iconic heist scene being referenced and parodied in various movies, television shows, and even music videos.

The Cinematic Homage

Several filmmakers have paid homage to Rififi, using similar heist sequences or drawing inspiration from its realistic portrayal of criminals and their activities.

The Evolution of Crime Films

Rififi marked a turning point in the evolution of crime films, pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable and setting a new standard for authenticity.

The Impact on Independent Filmmaking

Rififi’s success paved the way for independent filmmakers, proving that innovative storytelling and unconventional methods could captivate audiences and achieve commercial success.

The International Box Office Success

Rififi’s international box office success challenged the notion that foreign films could not compete with Hollywood productions on a global scale.

The Stylistic Choices

Rififi’s stylistic choices, including the use of black and white cinematography and atmospheric lighting, contribute to its timeless appeal.

The Outstanding Performances

The performances in Rififi, including Jean Servais as Tony le Stéphanois and Carl Möhner as Jo le Suedois, are widely regarded as some of the best in their careers.

The Study of Criminal Psychology

Rififi delves into the psychological aspects of its characters, showcasing the motivations and inner conflicts that drive their criminal behavior.

The Realistic Dialogue

The dialogue in Rififi is gritty and authentic, capturing the essence of the criminal underworld and the desperation of its characters.

The Cannes Film Festival Screening

Rififi’s screening at the Cannes Film Festival was met with overwhelming applause and praise from the audience, solidifying its status as a cinematic masterpiece.

The Exploration of Morality

Rififi raises questions about morality and the choices individuals make when pushed to their limits, adding depth to the narrative.

The Stylistic Homage to Noir Films

Rififi pays homage to the noir films of the past, incorporating their visual style and themes of crime, betrayal, and redemption.

The Authentic Street Locations

Rififi was filmed on location in the streets of Paris, capturing the essence of the city and adding to the film’s realism.

The Recognition from Film Critics

Rififi remains highly regarded by film critics around the world, with many considering it as one of the greatest crime films ever made.

The Timeless Cinematic Appeal

Despite being released over half a century ago, Rififi continues to captivate and engage audiences with its timeless storytelling and innovative filmmaking techniques.

The Unique Blend of Genres

Rififi successfully blends elements of crime, drama, and suspense, creating a multi-dimensional and highly engaging cinematic experience.

The Impact on French New Wave Cinema

Rififi’s realistic approach and innovative techniques influenced the emerging French New Wave movement, inspiring a new wave of filmmakers to experiment with storytelling and filmmaking conventions.

The Restoration Efforts

In recent years, Rififi underwent restoration efforts to preserve its visual quality and ensure that future generations can appreciate its artistic and cultural significance.

The Enduring Legacy

The enduring legacy of Rififi lies in its ability to captivate audiences and inspire filmmakers with its unforgettable characters, gripping storyline, and groundbreaking heist sequence.


In conclusion, Rififi is a classic crime film that has left an indelible mark on the cinematic landscape. With its gripping plot, impressive performances, and innovative heist sequence, it continues to be celebrated by movie enthusiasts worldwide. The film’s influence can still be felt in modern heist movies, making it a must-see for any fan of the genre. From its iconic characters to its intense suspense, Rififi remains a timeless masterpiece that stands the test of time. So, if you haven’t seen it yet, grab some popcorn, dim the lights, and prepare yourself for an unforgettable cinematic experience.


Q: When was Rififi released?

A: Rififi was released on April 13, 1955.

Q: Who directed Rififi?

A: Rififi was directed by Jules Dassin.

Q: What is the running time of Rififi?

A: The running time of Rififi is approximately 1 hour and 58 minutes.

Q: What is the genre of Rififi?

A: Rififi is a crime drama and heist film.

Q: Is Rififi a black and white film?

A: Yes, Rififi is shot in black and white, which adds to its atmospheric and noir-like quality.

Q: What languages is Rififi available in?

A: Rififi is primarily in French, with English subtitles available for international audiences.

Q: Did Rififi receive any awards or nominations?

A: Yes, Rififi won the Best Director award at the 1955 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Palme d’Or.

Q: Are there any memorable scenes in Rififi?

A: Yes, the film is known for its iconic heist scene, which is conducted in absolute silence, creating a nail-biting tension.

Q: Does Rififi have a sequel?

A: No, Rififi does not have an official sequel, but its impact on the heist film genre can be seen in subsequent movies.