DATELINE: Farewell, Friend!
Where has this 1960s crime caper movie been hiding for fifty years? Charles Bronson is teamed with Alain Delon as a couple of ex-Foreign Legionnaires who plan to break into a major corporate vault.
They are both young and virile.
The film may have had a limited American release, known in circles as Adios, Amigo as well as Adieu, l’Ami. The American title turns out to be Farewell, Friend. It’s all the same.
The movie was made when Bronson was on the cusp of international stardom and started matching up with European stars. It came around the time of The Dirty Dozen.
Alain Delon was bigger and received top billing, but he wanted American recognition. His English here is quite good. He was known for critically-acclaimed arty films, and his American incursion was less art and more matter-of-fact.
These two misfits are not exactly well-matched, nor do they like each other. So, you can be fairly certain their amiable hostility will support the old aphorism there is no honor among thieves.
We had no illusions that there would be a good script, but that at least it would give the two stars enough space to play it to the hilt. Indeed, it does.
Even more surprising, the sets are stylish and modern. Not only that, Bronson and Delon are dressed in the finest tailored suits. They do not look like refugees from Haight-Ashbury, as do many stars in 1968 movies.
Bronson has the rough-edged thug role, and Delon is the more debonair scam artist. Their reasons for breaking into a French corporate payroll vault also puts them at loggerheads. Yet, without the usual mayhem and car chases, this turns out to be a quite intriguing and different film, probably dissatisfying to fans.
We loved it.