Alain Delon is a French actor and one of the most recognizable faces of international cinema. Born in 1935, he began his acting career in the 1950s and quickly rose to fame for his intense performances and striking good looks.
He has appeared in over 80 films throughout his career, including many classic works of French and international cinema.
Best Alain Delon Movies
We’lll explore some of the best Alain Delon movies, from his early breakout roles to his iconic collaborations with great directors.
“Le Samouraï” is a French crime drama film released in 1967, directed and written by Jean-Pierre Melville. The movie stars Alain Delon in the lead role, with supporting performances from François Périer and Nathalie Delon.
Set in Paris, the film tells the story of Jef Costello (played by Alain Delon), a hitman who is meticulous and methodical in his work.
After carrying out a hit, he finds himself pursued by the police and forced to rely on his wits and instincts to evade capture. Along the way, he begins to question his own identity and place in the world, leading to a dramatic and unforgettable conclusion.
“Le Samouraï” is widely regarded as a masterpiece of French cinema, known for its spare and stylish direction, intense atmosphere, and iconic performances.
The movie has been praised for its use of silence, minimalist storytelling, and innovative cinematography, as well as its exploration of themes of honor, loyalty, and betrayal.
The film has had a significant influence on the crime genre, with many filmmakers and critics citing it as a major influence on later works such as “Drive” and “The American”.
Its legacy has only grown in the decades since its release, with “Le Samouraï” continuing to captivate audiences with its timeless blend of style and substance.
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Purple Noon (original title: Plein Soleil) is a 1960 French-Italian crime thriller film directed by René Clément, based on the 1955 novel “The Talented Mr. Ripley” by Patricia Highsmith.
The film stars Alain Delon as Tom Ripley, a charming and sociopathic con artist who travels to Italy to persuade his wealthy friend Philippe (Maurice Ronet) to return to the United States.
As Tom ingratiates himself into Philippe’s life, he becomes obsessed with Philippe’s wealth and glamorous lifestyle, and starts to develop a dangerous and manipulative plan to take over Philippe’s life.
The film explores themes of identity, deception, and the allure of wealth and luxury.
Purple Noon was a critical and commercial success, and is now considered a classic of French cinema. Delon’s performance as Tom Ripley has been widely praised, and the film is often cited as one of the best adaptations of Highsmith’s novel.
The film’s depiction of the Mediterranean coast and its luxurious villas has also become iconic, and has inspired numerous imitations in popular culture.
In 1999, a Hollywood adaptation of the novel, also titled “The Talented Mr. Ripley”, was released, starring Matt Damon as Tom Ripley and directed by Anthony Minghella.
However, many still consider Purple Noon to be the definitive adaptation of the novel, and a masterpiece of French cinema.
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“Le Battant” is a 1983 French crime-thriller film directed by Alain Delon and starring Delon himself in the lead role.
The film tells the story of Jacques Darnay (Delon), a retired safecracker who is forced to come out of retirement when his friend is killed by a gang of criminals.
Darnay sets out to avenge his friend’s death and take down the criminal organization responsible, while also trying to protect his girlfriend (played by Carla Romanelli) and avoid being caught by the police.
The film is known for its suspenseful plot, stylish cinematography, and Delon’s cool and suave performance as the charismatic anti-hero. It was a commercial success in France and helped further cement Delon’s status as a leading figure in French cinema.
“Rocco and His Brothers” (original title: Rocco e i suoi fratelli) is a 1960 Italian drama film directed by Luchino Visconti.
The movie stars Alain Delon and Annie Girardot, among others, and tells the story of a family of five brothers who move from rural Southern Italy to the industrial North in search of a better life.
The film follows the family as they struggle to adapt to the fast-paced, competitive city life. Rocco (Delon), the second eldest brother, is the most sensitive and vulnerable of the siblings, and becomes embroiled in a complicated love triangle with his brother’s girlfriend, Nadia (Girardot).
“Rocco and His Brothers” is a powerful and emotionally charged drama that explores themes such as family, migration, and the challenges of urbanization.
The film is known for its vivid portrayal of the Italian landscape and society of the time, as well as its poignant performances and striking cinematography.
The movie was highly acclaimed upon its release, and has since become a classic of Italian cinema. Its influence can be seen in the work of many subsequent filmmakers, both in Italy and around the world.
“Rocco and His Brothers” is a must-watch for fans of Italian cinema and powerful family dramas.
“Mr. Klein” is a French drama film released in 1976, directed by Joseph Losey and starring Alain Delon, Jeanne Moreau, and Francine Bergé.
The film is set in Nazi-occupied Paris during World War II and tells the story of Robert Klein (Alain Delon), a wealthy art dealer who becomes embroiled in a mystery when he receives a Jewish newspaper addressed to him.
As Klein investigates the matter, he becomes increasingly paranoid and obsessed, convinced that he is being mistaken for a Jewish man with the same name who is wanted by the Gestapo.
As the story unfolds, Klein is forced to confront the reality of his own complicity in the Nazi regime, and the devastating consequences of his actions.
Along the way, he becomes involved with a number of other characters, including a young woman named Florence (Jeanne Moreau) and a Jewish man named Nagel (Michel Lonsdale).
“Mr. Klein” is a powerful and thought-provoking film that explores themes of identity, guilt, and complicity in the face of fascism. Alain Delon delivers a memorable performance as Klein, capturing the character’s descent into paranoia and madness.
The film has been praised for its intelligent and nuanced portrayal of a dark chapter in French history, and its commentary on the human capacity for denial and self-deception.
“Le Cercle Rouge” is a 1970 French crime film directed by Jean-Pierre Melville and starring Alain Delon, Gian Maria Volontè, and Yves Montand.
The film follows the story of a recently released convict named Corey (Delon), who teams up with a former police officer named Jansen (Montand) and a sharpshooter named Vogel (Volontè) to pull off a daring jewelry heist.
As the three men plan and execute the heist, they face a series of challenges and obstacles that test their loyalty and trust in each other.
The film explores themes of crime, justice, and morality, and is noted for its stylish cinematography, sparse dialogue, and minimalist approach to storytelling.
Delon delivers a strong and charismatic performance as Corey, while Montand and Volontè bring depth and complexity to their respective roles. Melville’s direction is praised for its masterful use of suspense and tension, with the heist scene in particular considered a standout moment in the film.
“Le Cercle Rouge” is widely regarded as one of the greatest crime films ever made and a classic of French cinema. It has influenced many subsequent films and remains a powerful and memorable work that continues to captivate audiences to this day.
“The Sicilian Clan” is a 1969 crime film directed by Henri Verneuil, in which Alain Delon plays the role of a young and ambitious criminal named Roger Sartet.
The film also stars Jean Gabin and Lino Ventura and follows the story of a family of Sicilian gangsters who plan a daring heist on a jewelry store in Paris.
Delon’s performance as Sartet is one of the highlights of the film, as he brings a sense of cool confidence and charisma to the role of a criminal mastermind.
His chemistry with the other members of the cast, particularly Gabin and Ventura, adds depth and nuance to the complex relationships between the characters.
Overall, “The Sicilian Clan” is a classic heist film that showcases the talents of its talented cast and director.
Delon’s appearance in the film helped cement his reputation as one of the most popular and talented actors of his generation, and the film remains a beloved work of French cinema to this day.
8. La Piscine (1969)
“La Piscine” is a French-Italian drama film released in 1969, directed by Jacques Deray and written by Jean-Claude Carrière. The movie stars Alain Delon, Romy Schneider, Maurice Ronet, and Jane Birkin.
Set in the French Riviera, the film tells the story of a love triangle between a wealthy couple, Jean-Paul and Marianne (played by Alain Delon and Romy Schneider), and their friend Harry (played by Maurice Ronet).
The tension between the characters escalates as they spend their days lounging by the pool and enjoying the luxurious lifestyle, leading to a dramatic and tragic conclusion.
“La Piscine” is known for its sumptuous visuals, striking cinematography, and intense performances, particularly from Delon and Schneider.
The film has been praised for its exploration of themes of desire, jealousy, and class conflict, as well as its commentary on the decadence and ennui of the French bourgeoisie.
The movie was a commercial and critical success, and it helped to establish Alain Delon and Romy Schneider as two of the most iconic actors of their generation.
“La Piscine” remains a beloved classic of French cinema, and it continues to be celebrated for its captivating storytelling and timeless style.
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Boomerang! is a 1976 American crime thriller film directed by Arthur Penn and starring a star-studded cast that includes Jane Fonda, Lee Grant, and Roy Scheider.
The film is based on the true story of the murder of a priest in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and the subsequent investigation that led to the arrest and trial of a black man, who was falsely accused and later exonerated.
Fonda plays Jenny, a public defender who is assigned to defend the accused man, played by Yaphet Kotto.
Despite the mounting evidence against him, Jenny becomes convinced of his innocence and begins to investigate the case on her own.
As she uncovers new evidence and confronts corruption in the police department and the judicial system, she risks her career and her life to uncover the truth.
Boomerang! is a tense and suspenseful film that tackles issues of race, corruption, and justice in America. It is notable for its strong performances, particularly by Fonda and Kotto, and its nuanced portrayal of the complexities of the justice system.
The film was well-received by critics and audiences, and is now considered a classic of 1970s American cinema.
Boomerang! is a powerful and thought-provoking film that still resonates today, and its themes of racial injustice and corruption remain sadly relevant in modern society.
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“Any Number Can Win” (original title: “Mélodie en sous-sol”) is a 1963 French crime film directed by Henri Verneuil and starring Jean Gabin, Alain Delon, and Viviane Romance.
The film follows Charles (Gabin), an aging thief who plans a heist on a casino with the help of a younger accomplice named Francis (Delon).
The two men must navigate their differences in age, personality, and style, while also dealing with unexpected obstacles and the risk of getting caught by the police.
The film is known for its suspenseful plot, clever twists, and strong performances by its cast, particularly Gabin and Delon.
It was a critical and commercial success in France and helped establish Delon as a rising star of French cinema. The film was later remade in Hollywood as “The Good Thief” (2002) starring Nick Nolte.
“Two Men in Town” (original title: Deux hommes dans la ville) is a 1973 French-Algerian crime drama directed by José Giovanni.
The movie stars Alain Delon and Jean Gabin in the lead roles, and tells the story of a former criminal, Gino (Delon), who is released from prison and tries to start a new life.
However, he is constantly hounded by a police inspector, Germain (Gabin), who believes that Gino will inevitably return to a life of crime.
The film explores themes such as redemption, justice, and the possibility of change. As Gino struggles to adjust to life outside of prison, he faces many challenges and setbacks, including pressure from his old criminal associates and a lack of support from society.
Germain, meanwhile, is torn between his duty as a police officer and his sympathy for Gino’s situation.
“Two Men in Town” is a gritty and powerful crime drama that offers a nuanced and complex portrayal of its characters and themes. The movie is known for its strong performances, particularly from Delon and Gabin, as well as its intense and suspenseful sequences.
While the film was not a commercial success upon its release, it has since gained a reputation as a classic of French cinema.
Its influence can be seen in the work of many subsequent filmmakers, particularly those working in the crime and drama genres. “Two Men in Town” is a must-watch for fans of gritty crime dramas and powerful character studies.
12. The Black Tulip (1964)
“The Black Tulip” is a French adventure film released in 1964, directed by Christian-Jaque and starring Alain Delon, Virna Lisi, and Dawn Addams. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Alexandre Dumas.
The movie is set in the Netherlands during the 17th century, and tells the story of two brothers, Cornelius (Alain Delon) and Johan de Witt, who are both passionate about horticulture. When the two brothers develop a new breed of black tulip, they enter a competition to win a prize offered by the city council.
However, their political enemies, led by the corrupt nobleman Isaac Boxtel (George Rigaud), conspire to steal their invention and claim it as their own.
The de Witt brothers are then falsely accused of plotting against the government, and they are forced to go into hiding to avoid being executed.
“Black Tulip” is a visually stunning film with a lush and vivid portrayal of the Dutch countryside. The movie’s themes of betrayal, intrigue, and political corruption are a hallmark of Dumas’ work, and the film does justice to the original novel.
Alain Delon delivers a solid performance as Cornelius, bringing depth and emotional resonance to the character. Overall, “Black Tulip” is an engaging and thrilling adventure film that is sure to delight fans of Alexandre Dumas’ work.
“Le retour de Casanova” is a 1992 French-Italian romantic comedy film directed by Édouard Niermans and starring Alain Delon as the famous lover Giacomo Casanova.
The film tells the story of Casanova, who, after being exiled from Venice, returns to Paris in search of a wealthy patron who can help him clear his debts and restore his reputation.
Once in Paris, Casanova becomes embroiled in a series of romantic misadventures as he tries to woo a wealthy widow named Madame de Pompadour (Fabrice Luchini) while also reconnecting with an old flame named Marcolina (Francesca Dellera).
As he navigates his complicated love life, Casanova also finds himself caught up in political intrigue and must use his wits and charm to stay ahead of his enemies.
“Le retour de Casanova” is notable for its lavish production design and costumes, which evoke the opulence and decadence of 18th-century France. Delon delivers a charming and charismatic performance as Casanova, while Luchini and Dellera provide strong support as his love interests.
The film is also notable for its light-hearted tone and playful approach to the romantic comedy genre, with director Niermans infusing the story with a sense of whimsy and humor.
While not as critically acclaimed as some of Delon’s other films, “Le retour de Casanova” remains an entertaining and enjoyable entry in the actor’s filmography.
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“The Widow Couderc” is a 1971 French drama film directed by Pierre Granier-Deferre, in which Alain Delon plays the role of Jean Lavigne, a young man who becomes romantically involved with a much older woman, the widow Couderc (Simone Signoret).
The film is set in the rural French countryside and explores themes of love, passion, and betrayal.
Delon’s performance in the film is praised for its nuance and sensitivity, as he portrays a complex character who is torn between his desire for the widow Couderc and his loyalty to his own family.
His chemistry with Simone Signoret, who won the Best Actress award at the Venice Film Festival for her performance, adds depth and emotion to the story.
“The Widow Couderc” is considered one of the best films of Alain Delon’s career, showcasing his range as an actor and his ability to convey powerful emotions through subtle gestures and expressions.
The film is a timeless classic of French cinema and a must-watch for fans of Delon and Signoret alike.
“Cop’s Honor” is a crime drama film released in 1985, directed by Jospeh C. Hanwright and written by Andrew J. Fenady. The movie stars Timothy Dalton, Anthony Edwards, and Beverly D’Angelo.
The film tells the story of young police officer Tony Church (played by Anthony Edwards), who is eager to make a name for himself in the force.
He is partnered with veteran cop John Kilpatrick (played by Timothy Dalton), who is known for his tough approach and unwavering commitment to justice.
As the two men investigate a series of crimes in the city, they find themselves at odds over how to handle the cases, leading to a conflict that threatens to tear them apart.
“Cop’s Honor” is known for its gripping storyline, tense action sequences, and strong performances, particularly from Timothy Dalton as the grizzled veteran cop. The movie has been praised for its realistic portrayal of police work, as well as its exploration of themes of loyalty, honor, and the price of justice.
While the film was not a major commercial success, it has gained a cult following over the years for its compelling characters and engaging storyline. “Cop’s Honor” remains a solid entry in the crime drama genre, and it continues to be enjoyed by fans of gritty, hard-hitting cinema.
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The Passage is a 1986 British war drama film directed by J. Lee Thompson and starring Anthony Quinn, James Mason, and Malcolm McDowell.
The film is set during World War II and tells the story of a Basque shepherd named Manuel (played by Quinn) who leads a group of refugees across the Pyrenees Mountains to escape the advancing German army.
The film explores themes of courage, sacrifice, and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity. As Manuel and his group navigate the treacherous mountain terrain, they must also contend with the dangers posed by German soldiers and their own personal demons.
The Passage received mixed reviews upon its release, with some critics praising its strong performances and powerful storytelling, while others criticized its melodramatic tone and uneven pacing. However, the film has since gained a cult following and is now considered by some to be an overlooked gem of 1980s cinema.
The film’s themes of survival and human endurance, as well as its depiction of the horrors of war, continue to resonate with audiences today.
The Passage is a gripping and emotionally charged film that offers a unique perspective on the experience of refugees during wartime.
17. Borsalino and Co. (1974)
“Borsalino and Co.” is a 1974 French-Italian crime film directed by Jacques Deray and starring Alain Delon and Riccardo Cucciolla.
The film is a sequel to the 1970 film “Borsalino,” which also starred Delon, and follows the further adventures of gangsters Roch Siffredi (Delon) and François Capella (Cucciolla) as they become embroiled in a power struggle with other criminal organizations in Marseille.
The film is known for its stylish portrayal of 1930s gangster culture, its impressive ensemble cast, and its action-packed scenes.
Although not as commercially successful as its predecessor, the film was still a box-office hit in France and helped further cement Delon’s status as a leading star of French cinema.
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“L’Eclisse” is an Italian drama film released in 1962, directed by Michelangelo Antonioni and starring Monica Vitti, Alain Delon, and Francisco Rabal.
The film is set in Rome and tells the story of a young woman named Vittoria (Monica Vitti) who is experiencing a sense of disillusionment with her life and her relationship with her boyfriend, Riccardo (Francisco Rabal). When Vittoria meets a stockbroker named Piero (Alain Delon), the two begin a passionate and intense affair.
As the story unfolds, Vittoria and Piero are shown wandering through the empty and alienating streets of Rome, searching for meaning and connection in a world that seems to be increasingly fragmented and disconnected.
Eventually, the couple’s relationship begins to falter, leading to a poignant and bittersweet conclusion.
“L’Eclisse” is widely regarded as one of Antonioni’s masterpieces and is considered a classic of Italian cinema.
The film is notable for its innovative and influential cinematography, which makes extensive use of long takes, wide shots, and striking compositions to create a sense of emptiness and alienation.
The performances by Vitti, Delon, and Rabal are also widely praised, with each actor bringing a unique intensity and depth to their characters. Overall, “L’Eclisse” is a powerful and haunting meditation on the human condition, and a must-see for fans of Italian cinema.
“No Way Out” is a 1973 crime thriller directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and starring Sidney Poitier, Richard Widmark, and Stephen McNally.
The film follows the story of a black police detective named Virgil Tibbs (Poitier) who is assigned to investigate the murder of a prostitute in San Francisco’s red-light district.
As Tibbs delves deeper into the case, he uncovers a web of corruption and deceit that leads him to suspect a wealthy businessman named Bracken (Widmark) and his associates.
Despite facing resistance from his superiors and racism from the community, Tibbs remains determined to solve the case and bring the perpetrators to justice.
“No Way Out” is praised for its strong performances and taut direction, with Poitier delivering a compelling portrayal of a determined and resourceful detective.
Widmark is also lauded for his portrayal of a morally ambiguous villain, while Mankiewicz’s direction is praised for its gritty and realistic depiction of the San Francisco underworld.
The film is noted for its themes of racial tension and prejudice, with Tibbs facing discrimination and hostility from both the criminal underworld and the police force.
“No Way Out” is considered a landmark film in the portrayal of African American characters in mainstream cinema, and remains a powerful and relevant work that continues to resonate with audiences today.
3 Reasons To Watch Alain Delon Movies
Iconic Performances: Alain Delon is widely regarded as one of the most charismatic and talented actors of his generation.
He has played a wide range of characters throughout his career, from romantic leads to tough guys and anti-heroes, and has created some of the most iconic performances in French and international cinema.
His good looks, suave demeanor, and powerful screen presence make him a joy to watch on screen.
Classic French Cinema: Alain Delon is one of the most iconic figures of French cinema, which is known for its artistic and intellectual qualities, as well as its unique storytelling and visual style.
His films are often set in iconic locations across France and offer a glimpse into the cultural and social history of the country. For fans of cinema, Delon’s work is a must-see, and his impact on French cinema and beyond is undeniable.
Collaborations with Great Directors: Alain Delon has worked with many of the greatest directors in the history of cinema, including Jean-Pierre Melville, Luchino Visconti, and Michelangelo Antonioni.
His collaborations with these filmmakers have resulted in some of the most memorable and acclaimed films of his career, showcasing his versatility as an actor and his ability to bring complex characters to life on screen.
Watching Alain Delon movies is a great way to explore the work of these great directors and to appreciate the artistry of their filmmaking.
Best Alain Delon Movies – Wrap Up
Alain Delon has had a remarkable career as an actor, starring in numerous films that have become classics of French cinema. Here are some of his best movies:
“Le Samouraï” (1967) – This stylish and atmospheric crime drama directed by Jean-Pierre Melville is widely regarded as one of Delon’s best performances.
“The Leopard” (1963) – In this epic historical drama, directed by Luchino Visconti, Delon delivers a memorable turn as a dashing young nobleman caught up in the tumultuous events of 19th-century Sicily.
“Purple Noon” (1960) – Based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” this psychological thriller directed by René Clément features Delon in the lead role as a charming con artist.
“La Piscine” (1969) – This steamy and suspenseful drama directed by Jacques Deray stars Delon alongside Romy Schneider in a story of love, jealousy, and betrayal.
“Rocco and His Brothers” (1960) – In this powerful family drama directed by Luchino Visconti, Delon plays the youngest of five brothers struggling to survive in the gritty world of postwar Milan.
These are just a few examples of the many outstanding films that Alain Delon has starred in over the years. With his striking good looks, intense screen presence, and magnetic charisma, Delon remains one of the most iconic actors in the history of French cinema.