Newest Reviews
If Beale Street Could Talk
Raining in the Mountain
Day Shall Come, The
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Love Ban, The
Newest Articles
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
  Farewell Friend A Safe PlaceBuy this film here.
Year: 1968
Director: Jean Herman
Stars: Alain Delon, Charles Bronson, Olga Georges-Picot, Brigitte Fossey, Bernard Fresson, Marianna Falk, Ellen Bahl, Jean-Claude Ballard, Michel Barcet, Raoul Guylad
Genre: Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Two soldiers, one French, Dino Barran (Alain Delon), the other American, Franz Propp (Charles Bronson), have been discharged from the army today and as they disembark the ship a woman tries to attract Barran's attention. She believes him to be an old friend of her ex-partner, Mozart, who didn't make it back from Algiers, but Barran denies all knowledge, even though he did actually befriend him. This woman, Isabelle Moreau (Olga Georges-Picot) is persistent, and after Barran and Propp have had an altercation over gambling, she catches up with him with a strange proposal: break into a safe and put something back...

Farewell Friend, or Adieu l'ami as it was called in France, teamed up two cult stars in a film which cemented Bronson's reputation as big news in Europe, and at Delon's request they proved a solid team. Indeed, Bronson was at his most relaxed and confident here, probably because he was surrounded by fans of his making the film with him: he laughs a few times and even does an impression of a penguin (no, not Pingu). Although they spend most of the start and the ending apart, the lengthy sequence in the middle is the best section of the film where their characters are forced together by circumstance.

This is a pretty inscrutable little thriller for much of it, and even by the end you have to have a good think to work out who was doing what to whom, but it's this quality which keeps you watching. The idea is that to pay a debt to his friend Mozart, Barran agrees to carry out this safe job by taking a post as a doctor in the company building that the safe is kept in to take care of their staff's medical check-ups. While he does so, he arranges a camera to snap photos of the safe being opened so the combination can be ascertained and the plan carried out.

However, it's not all that smooth, as they only get about half the numbers, so over Christmas Barran agrees to be shut in so he can try out the thousands of possible combinations and open the door to return the bonds he has been given (really). As this is a kind of buddy movie, Propp happens to appear as well, and the two of them get into an arrangement that is antagonistic but grudgingly accepting all the same. Especially when they get trapped in the room with the safe after a brawl, with no food or water and the place not being opened till Tuesday.

The futuristic look to the building lends a cold atmosphere to the film, even when the room Barran and Propp are in heats up and they have to strip to the waist, revealing muscular torsos sheened in sweat (steady). While not one of the greatest of Euro-thrillers, Farewell Friend does enjoy considerable star wattage thanks to the male leads, and there's the bonus of Brigitte Fossey, looking fragile as ever and marking out a film career as an adult as Barran's mousey secretary who he brings out of her shell. There are twists and double crosses, but curiously the tense relationship between the two anti-thieves (for want of a better term) is an unexpectedly noble one, leaving you cheered that these two guys eventually stick up for each other. Idiosycnrasies include Bronson getting a catchprhase that makes him sound as if he's predicting the introduction to the Beastie Boys' "Fight For Your Right To Party", but mainly this is an absorbing though confusing suspense drama that pays off your attention. Music by Fran├žois de Roubaix, but you'll only hear it at the start and ending as one of the quirks is the lack of incidental tunes.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2573 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton


Last Updated: