Jules Dassin was delighted by the domestic success of his classic 1955 heist film Rififi (the first really successful French film noir). He was less delighted, however, by its international box office performance.

The problem? The scheme which the thieves devise to outsmart the security system protecting a Parisian jewelry shop (using such simple props as a fire extinguisher and an umbrella) is so cunning, yet so plausible, that the film was banned in several countries out of fear that it might inspire real robberies.

[Early in the film one of the thieves observes that the store is equipped with an alarm rigged with motion detectors. "It's getting harder," he quips, "to make a living."]

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