HAIL, MAFIA!
JE VOUS SALUE, MAFIA!
1965, 90 min, France/Italy, Dir: Raoul Lévy

In the mid-1960s, veteran French producer Raoul Lévy hit the ground running as a director with a trio of star-studded adventures, including this criminally overlooked mob thriller with Henry Silva, Jack Klugman and Eddie Constantine. Silva and Klugman play unlikely NYC hitmen sent to Europe to hunt down international businessman Rudy Hamburg (Constantine), who is suspected to be a mafia informant. Shot by legendary French New Wave cinematographer Raoul Coutard, HAIL, MAFIA is a stunning road movie across the French countryside, as philosophical as it is suspenseful.


ALPHAVILLE
ALPHAVILLE, UNE ETRANGE AVENTURE DE LEMMY CAUTION
1965, Rialto Pictures, 99 min, France/Italy, Dir: Jean-Luc Godard

Lemmy Caution (Eddie Constantine) is on a mission to eliminate Professor Von Braun, the creator of a malevolent computer that rules the city of Alphaville. Befriended by the scientist's beautiful daughter, Natasha (Anna Karina), Lemmy must unravel the mysteries of the strictly logical Alpha 60 and teach Natasha the meaning of the word “love.” Akim Tamiroff costars in this noir-ish sci-fi favorite, which won the Golden Bear at the 1965 Berlin Film Festival.


POISON IVY
LA MOME VERT-DE-GRIS
1952, Pathe, 97 min, France, Dir: Bernard Borderie

The first of Eddie Constantine’s (France’s biggest star of the 1950s) jokey, self-referential Lemmy Caution tales, LA MOME VERT-DE-GRIS also features blonde bombshell Dominique Wilms, who leaves every man she meets during the film’s delirious action more than a little breathless. As Bertrand Tavernier noted, Constantine’s alter ego Lemmy Caution is the template for James Bond - though he’s clearly more hangdog and unkempt than the suave British spy. But Constantine wins us over with his crooked smile, his love of liquor and women, and his reckless courage in the face of gunfire. LA MOME VERT-DE-GRIS makes it clear why Paris was at Eddie’s feet in the ’50s, and you’ll want to scratch that itch for more Lemmy!


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