By: jbhthescots@mac.com, Categories: Words & Images, Comments Off on Rififi



Ever since I was a teenager people have been telling me to see the French noir heist movie Rififi, made in 1955, where the object of the gang’s desire is a jewellery store. I’ve been so convinced by their argument that it’s a classic I’ve probably told people that I’ve seen it when I hadn’t. With not much on TV at Christmas apart from a couple of old seasonal episodes of Porridge (“Norman Stanley Fletcher, you have pleaded guilty…”), I finally got round to actually seeing it on Netflix.


Of course it’s quite brilliant; a masterpiece even. Now that I’m older I can appreciate things about it that I wouldn’t have quite got when I was a kid: the look of post-war Paris, the shiny old cars, old-school gangsters, the glistening pavements, the cruel glitter in the eyes of the leading man, the extraordinary look of the jazz clubs, the extraordinary half-hour robbery sequence which is done without words, the difficulty of making a phone call and the way that feeds into the drama.


Glasgow’s famous Argyle Arcade (1827), which houses more than 30 jewellers and diamond merchants – such as the Antwerp Diamond Co in today’s photo – is one of Europe’s oldest covered shopping arcades and Scotland’s first ever indoor shopping mall, that likes to describe itself as “the Hatton Garden of Scotland”.  Not a good comparison, considering that London’s Hatton Garden was robbed recently in a daring raid of Hollywood movie-making proportions – and by a gang of geriatrics in their sixties and seventies, who were all old enough to have done the original Rififi job! 


Leica M3 & 2/40mm Summicron
B+W Yellow Filter
Ilford FP4+ (200)
HC-110 (Dil. B – 12 min)
Plustek 7600i & Vuescan