Newest Reviews
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Newest Articles
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
  Gypsy, The Gypsy Laugh, Gypsy Sing, Gypsy Dance, Gypsy Shoot!
Year: 1975
Director: José Giovanni
Stars: Alain Delon, Paul Meurisse, Annie Girardot, Marcel Bozzuffi, Bernard Giraudeau, Renato Salvatori, Maurice Barrier, Maurice Biraud, Nicolas Vogel, Michel Fortin, Pierre Danny, Adolfo Lastretti, Rino Bolognesi, Jacques Rispal, Mario David, Marc Eyraud
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Corsican born novelist-turned-filmmaker José Giovanni was a former criminal who at one time was sentenced to death and wrote his first novel, “Le Trou” (The Hole), about his own attempted escape from prison. His crime thrillers were adapted by such high-calibre French filmmakers as Jean-Pierre Melville and Jean Becker, and after working as a screenwriter he made his directorial debut with La Loi du survivant (1967). Giovanni’s movies range from star-driven action vehicles (La Scoumoune (1972)) to substantial polemics (Une robe noire pour un tueur (1981)), and The Gypsy (La Gitan) attempts a combination of the two.

Police raid a gypsy camp in search of notorious criminal Hugo Sennart (Alain Delon), whom the press have, somewhat unimaginatively, dubbed “The Gypsy.” Eluding the cops, the Gypsy soon takes to his old tricks, staging daring robberies alongside criminal cronies Jo Amila (Renato Salvatori, reuniting with Delon after Rocco and His Brothers (1960)) and Gene Newman (Maurice Barrier). Meanwhile, another underworld figure, aging safecracker Yann Cuq (Paul Meurisse) returns home to find his wife talking on the phone with her lover. After a violent argument, she takes a fatal leap from his apartment. Her lover turns out to be a policeman, Mareuil (Bernard Giraudeau), whose superior officer Blot (Marcel Bozzuffi from The French Connection (1971), on the right side of the law for a change) thinks he’s found a way to lure Yann into custody. On the run, Yann finds his quest for a quiet life disrupted at every turn, solely because the Gypsy commits crimes nearby and has the police on his tail. But fate somehow brings these two, not dissimilar, honourable thieves together…

Giovanni’s movies regularly empathise with outlaws and uphold a rather romanticised view that the underworld more accurately embodies the spirit and values of French society than the bourgeois surface. In dealing with the injustice and persecution visited upon the gypsies, who detail instances where they have been “hounded like dogs”, “chased with cattle prods” and had their children spat upon, this strives to be a socially-conscious crime thriller. Giovanni deftly illustrates his point with a striking opening aerial shot that pans away from a typically idyllic French seaside to the gypsy camp being invaded by police.

Hugo Sennart is less your typical criminal than a hot-blooded revolutionary, using stolen money to fight his people’s cause. Giovanni draws parallels between Hugo and old school romantics like Yann Cuq, who upon observing callous police methods remarks: “Watching the way you bastards work would give anyone the urge to throw a Molotov cocktail” and his fiery restaurateur friend Ninie (Annie Girardot - Renato Salvatori’s real-life spouse and co-star in Rocco and His Brothers, who steals all her scenes despite having little connection to the story). However, the meandering plot does no favours and there is a little too much heroic posturing from Delon.

An outsider even within the criminal fraternity, who risks life just to repay a debt or an insult to his people, Hugo Sennart plays very much to the hardboiled, indestructible image Delon cultivated in the wake of Le Samurai (1967) throughout most of his films during the Seventies and Eighties. Unlike many novelist-turned-directors, Giovanni isn’t over-reliant on prose and has a vibrant cinematic style, bringing a matter-of-fact realism to the robberies, shoot-outs and car chases. His treatment of the downtrodden gypsies still feels like a worthy issue tacked onto an otherwise average thriller and sentimental compared to the more offbeat studies of gypsy life made by Tony Gatliff.

Click here for the trailer
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 2312 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: