Release Date November 30, 2011 (France).
Running Time 1 hour 42 minutes.
French w/English subtitles.
The critics have pilloried this French gangster film as being formulaic, devoid of action and better suited to a made-for-television miniseries, which is why I never take reviews to heart when judging something as subjective as cinema. My opinion is it will go down as one of the unappreciated classics of the genre. When I read the reviews I was hesitant to watch it, but once I got into it I wound up appreciating everything about it. This is really two stories in one, and the seamless back-and-forth through time is done with exceptional skill.
The film begins with a glimpse into the life of a retired grand lion in winter, Edmond “Momon” Vidal (played by the dashing and charismatic Gérard Lanvin), co-founder and survivor of the legendary real-life "Gang de Lyonais" that terrorized France throughout the 1970's with some of the most daring armed robberies in the annals of organized crime. During a celebration at his tastefully post-modern home, Momon has gotten word that his best friend from youth and fellow ex-gang member Serge (played by Olivier Chantreau) has been captured after many years on the run by the same cop who helped take the gang down in the first place.
The Lyonnais Gang in their '70s Heyday-