Art & Culture 52'


What drove Angiolino Ventura, a young Italian immigrant, to become a legend of French cinema? Nothing it seems – all the more so as he considered acting not to be very serious… But chance has a way of doing things!


In 1953, when French director Jacques Becker was looking for an actor with an imposing build to play a part in his next film Touchez pas au Grisbi (Hands off the Loot), he spotted a wrestler nicknamed “The Italian Rocket”: Lino Ventura. Becker immediately offered him the role; but Lino, who at that time had little interest in this industry, demanded as a joke to be paid as much as already famous Jean Gabin. Much to his surprise, Becker said yes…


What followed was a career spanning 30 years working alongside great French actors, directors and screenwriters, and made of 75 films in which he incarnated both policemen, spies or crooks.


Through archives and interviews, this four-handed documentary sheds light on the life and work of this humble and reserved giant of French cinema. 

Direction: Frédéric Zmochnikoff & Frédéric Chaudier  

Production: Flair Production for Ciné+

Languages: French

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