Alain Delon turns 75 today. The French actor with the brooding good looks who starred in a number of pivotal films that charcterised French policiers in the 1960s
These included Rocco & His Brothers (1960) which is all about the love-hate relationship that brothers have, in particular the two who are fighting over prostitute Annie Girardot, one of whom will commit murder.
In Blazing Sun (1960), he played Tom Ripley - yes, the very same Talented Mr Ripley - in a French version of the Patricia Highsmith book that has yet to be bettered.
In The Big Snatch (1963), Alain teams up with France's Robert Mitchum - Jean Gabin - to carry out a raid on a Cannes casino. They're an unlikely pair, the battle-weary ex-con Gabin and the cocky, creative young pretender - but will the snatch work?
Le Samourai (1967) is Alain's and Jean-Pierre Melville's, the director's, masterwork. It starts with ten minutes of no dialogue that you can't take your eyes off as Delon, playing the ultimate professional hitman goes about his business. The film also features his wife Nathalie Delon
In The Sicilian Clan (1969), Delon teamed up once again with Jean Gabin and Lino Ventura for a hard-nosed look at Mafia infighting that would give the Godfather a run for its money. I saw it only recently and it hasn't aged a bit.
Melville joined with Delon again for Le Cercle Rouge (1970), a heist movie that featured ex-cons and was set in the seedy underworld. With hints of Reservoir Dogs, the movie also stars French legends Yves Montand and Bourvil.
Oh yes, when it comes to French crime noir, the sixties belonged to Delon - and Jean-Paul Belmondo of course.......