Max and the Junkmen (Max et les Ferrailleurs)

A gleefully seedy study of lowlifes on both sides of the law.


Max and the Junkmen (Max et les Ferrailleurs)

Part of our REDISCOVER SAUTET series July 24 - 30 at our Royal theatre in West LA.
Michel Piccoli’s Max has only one thing on his mind: putting away criminals. And he knows that the only way to really catch a thief is to catch them in the act. When yet another bunch of professional criminals gets away, Max unexpectedly runs into an old army buddy, Abel (Bernard Fresson), who has turned to a life of petty crime with a small band of hoodlums, the “ferrailleurs,” or junkmen, of the title. Frustrated by his recent failure, Max hatches a plan to trick this group of amateurs into a major crime and then take them down. Lucky for Max, in order to pull off the ruse he has to pose as a client of Lily (Romy Schneider), a prostitute who lives with Abel. But Max never counted on falling in love with the bait. Based on the book of the same title by Claude Néron, Max et les Ferrailleurs sparkles with tension, explores the deficiencies of a black-and-white philosophy of justice, and, forty-one years after its original release, graces American screens for the first time.

“Sautet was an original, a tough and subtle dramatist with a gift for teasing moral complications out of straightforward genre scenarios. Max is an especially memorable addition to this international brotherhood of disaffected policemen.” - A.O. Scott, The New York Times

“I haven’t seen a film for (a) long time as gripping and smartly conceived and executed as this one. Max is a terrific, suspenseful crime story that is one of the best of its genre.” - William Wolff
Not Rated
Crime, Drama, Romance
Claude Sautet
Jean-Loup Dabadie, Claude Néron, Claude Sautet
Romy Schneider, Michel Piccoli, François Périer, Bernard Fresson
A.O. Scott, New York Times

Released in France in 1971, “Max et les Ferrailleurs” is receiving a belated and welcome American opening at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, the capstone of a Claude Sautet retrospective. Sautet, a director and screenwriter who died in 2000, is probably best known in this country for “Un Coeur ...

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