Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Manchette- 3 to Kill

From: E.Borgers (
Date: 04 Nov 2005

First I join my voice to the choir to welcome Mr. Stansberry in our Noir chapel !

"3 to Kill" is a title coming indeed from the French film based on the original book by Manchette. The original title of the book was: "Le petit bleu de la cOuest", which carries a "cross-lingual" play of words, as it could be translated as: "The little West Coast Blues", and the reference to the style of jazz is part of the play of words. So in French, it could be only spotted by people interested in jazz music.

On the other hand, even with Delon, this film is far to be on the same level as the book. In fact, Manchette was never very well served by film adaptations of his books... and he, as script writer, was never involved in really interesting films.

 From his books, the best film is IMO: "Polar" (1983) by Jacques Bral. the film was based on "Morgue pleine" (again a play of words, based on a famous part of Victor Hugo's verse: "Waterloo, Waterloo morne pleine..." in the poems he devoted to Napoleon the Great- meaning: W, W, dull plain... - the title of Manchette's book means: the morgue is full).
"Morgue pleine" is one of the two novels wherein Eug讥 Tarpon, Manchette's totally atypical PI appears- the second one is "Que d'os" (= so many bones) which carries again a play of word, phonetic play, related to "Que d'eau !" (historical word by Mac Mahon, French general when he saw the ocean: "so much water !"- he is the same general who squashed flat in a blood bath, the Paris Commune revolt in 1870.

I explained the plays of word, because I see them also as a form of
"d鴯urnement" /"deviation" of the genre, this time with irony.


>Tribe wrote:
>"As an aside, I've been watching Melville's Le Samourai recently. I keep
>imagining Alan Deloin's character protraying the anti-hero of Gunman."
>Delon is the protagonist in Three Men to Kill, the film adaptation of
>Manchette's Three to Kill (although I seem to remember that's not the
>book's original title, which was changed to match the movie).

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 04 Nov 2005 EST