Un flic

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Un flic
original film poster
Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville
Written byJean-Pierre Melville
Produced by Robert Dorfmann
Starring Alain Delon
Catherine Deneuve
Richard Crenna
CinematographyWalter Wottitz
Edited byPatricia Nény
Music by Michel Colombier
Release date
  • 25 October 1972 (1972-10-25)(France)
  • 21 December 1972 (1972-12-21)(Italy)
  • December 19, 1975 (1975-12-19)(Minneapolis)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryFrance / Italy
Box office$8,831,458 [1]
1,464,806 admissions (France) [2]

Un flic (English: A Cop; also known as Dirty Money) is a 1972 French crime film, the last directed by Jean-Pierre Melville. It stars Alain Delon, Catherine Deneuve and Richard Crenna.


Delon had previously worked with Melville on Le Samouraï (1967) and Le Cercle Rouge (1970), playing the role of a criminal. In Un Flic, Delon's role is reversed. He plays the cop, Édouard Coleman, in pursuit of Simon, a notorious Paris thief who is very hard to pin down.


The movie opens with a quote from Eugène-François Vidocq: "The only feelings mankind has ever inspired in policemen are those of indifference and derision..."

Following a raid on a bank in a seaside town, four Parisian gangsters flee after a cashier sets off the alarm with only part of the loot and with one of the men, Marc Albois, wounded by the cashier, who Marc then shoots dead. They put Marc in a private clinic and disperse. Their leader, Simon, owns a nightclub that is visited regularly by police detective Coleman to keep an eye on Simon and pick up information. Coleman also hopes to see the beautiful Cathy, who is Simon's mistress but spends occasional afternoons with Coleman in a hotel room. Fearing police will find and question Marc, Simon sends Cathy into the clinic dressed as a nurse to give the dying man a fatal air embolism after an attempt to take him away fails.

Simon's next project is to steal a large quantity of heroin being transported out of France by a rival gang on the night express from Paris to Lisbon. From a helicopter, he is lowered onto the speeding train in the empty countryside south of Bordeaux, breaks into the courier's sleeping compartment, neutralizes him with chloroform, and is successfully winched up with the drugs. Knowing the dead Marc was friends with Louis Costa, Coleman arrests him and gets him to confess the names of his accomplices.

Coleman goes to the club and questions Simon, who denies he knows Marc or Louis. Simon immediately telephones the fourth member of the gang, Paul, a former bank manager, to warn him, but the police arrive before he can flee and Paul shoots himself.

Simon hides out in a hotel and rings Cathy to pick him up. However, police have tapped Cathy's phone and, as Simon emerges from the hotel carrying an attaché case full of heroin, the waiting Coleman draws a gun and challenges him. As Simon seems to be reaching inside his coat for a gun, Coleman shoots him dead while Cathy watches helplessly from her car. However, when Coleman inspects Simon's body, he finds he had no gun, leading him to think it was suicide by cop. Coleman is called away on another case, leaving a pensive Cathy alone. The film ends with a prolonged shot on Coleman's face as he drives away.

Cast and crew

The crew included Sophie Tati (editing department) and Pierre Tati (second assistant director), the daughter and son of Jacques Tati.

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