Un témoin dans la ville. 1959. France/Italy. Directed by Edouard Molinaro. Written by Molinaro, Gerard Oury, Alain Poire, Georges Tabet, Pierre Boileau, Thomas Narcejac. With Lino Ventura, Sandra Milo, Franco Fabrizzi. In French; English subtitles. DCP. 86 min.
Edouard Molinaro - who later found success with popular comedies like La Cage aux folles and Oscar - directed this excellent, overlooked film noir early in his career, proving himself an apt pupil of Alfred Hitchcock and Henri-Georges Clouzot with this adaptation of a novel by Boileau and Narjac (Vertigo). Lino Ventura deploys the full range of his quiet soulfulness as a sympathetic killer who sees no choice but to eliminate the taxi driver (Franco Fabrizi) who is the only witness to Ventura’s murder of his wife’s lover. The jazz score features Kenny Clarke, Kenny Dorham, and Barney Wilen.