best film: Rocco and His Brothers. I only have seven total films in the archives for Delon but look at them- they’re all so damn good.  Antonioni’s The Eclipse is a fabulous film and it might be his fifth best. That’s unreal. Rocco has flirted with the last 10 spots in my top 100 so that’s my #1 here for this category but I’ve yet to see The Leopard on Blu-ray (I’m told it’s something to behold) and Le Samourai and Purple Noon are superb films- very worth of being in a top 5 of their respective years.

best performance:  Purple Noon. Delon does Tom Ripley and he’s marvelous. He’s expressive (unlike Le Samourai which is my second pick here and his quietest performance), fascinating, hauntingly infatuated and fixated. I think a hell of a lot of Matt Damon’s performance taking on the same role in The Talented Mr. Ripley in 1999 but I think I’d have to give the slight edge to Delon here.

stylistic innovations/traits: Incredibly good-looking French actor who excelled during the French new wave without working with the new wave auteurs (something I just realized today). His looks faded in the 70’s which must be the main reason all seven of his archiveable films came between 1960-1972 (he has 107 IMDB credits). His lack of depth is made up for with the unreal high-quality of those seven films and he’s the lead in all of them (co-ish lead in the leopard).

directors worked with:   Melville (3), Visconti (2),  and then Antonioni once—again- given he was at the height of his powers from 1960-1972 it’s surprising he never connected for an archiveable film with Truffaut or Godard.

Top 5 Performances:

  1. Purple Noon
  2. Le Samourai
  3. Rocco and His Brothers
  4. The Leopard
  5. The Eclipse

Archiveable films

1960- Purple Noon
1960- Rocco and His Brothers
1962- The Eclipse
1963- The Leopard
1967- Le Samourai
1970- The Red Circle
1972- Un Flic