Review: Double Feature Blu-ray 'The Gang / Three Men To Kill' a Mixed Bag

by Frank J. Avella

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday September 7, 2021

Review: Double Feature Blu-ray 'The Gang / Three Men To Kill' a Mixed Bag

Alain Delon is doubly featured in the Cohen Media Group Blu-ray release of two Jacques Deray crime films, "The Gang" (1977) and "Three Men to Kill" (1980). The latter is far superior to the former, but both are worth a look, if only for the always fascinating to watch, if controversial in later years, Delon.

"The Gang" takes place directly after World War II as five hoods come together and decide to rob banks (echoes of "Bonnie and Clyde," which the look of the film evokes). The movie is basically a series of robberies, with the gang getting away with posing as cops and the real police continuously bungling capturing the group — all culminating in a rather exciting climax that finally woke me up.

Delon dons a shaggy dog wig, making him look absurd, but his performance is excellent. In one particular sequence, in a police station, his character gets fed up waiting and he grabs a machine gun and shows everyone just who he really is. It's a fantastic moment, and the rather lackluster film could have used more scenes like this one.

The much more thrilling "Three Men to Kill" has Delon as Gerfaut, a poker player who makes the mistake of doing a good deed by helping an accident victim. He soon finds himself the target of two assassins. The plot gets a bit complicated from there.

This one had me from the get-go and never let go. Even the love story here was interesting, as opposed to the one in "The Gang," which was a snoozefest. Dalila Lazzaro is a delight as Bea, Gerfaut's girlfriend. (Her credits appear to be a slew of mostly Italian B-movies).

Deray uses some Hitchcockian techniques, and adds his own dash of shocking splatter.

The film does have its share of WTFs, like the fact that the murderers have no trouble killing the three initially-targeted men, but bungle taking out Gerfaut three times! I get it; it's Delon. But come on!

Both films have received very good visual and audio HD transfers. The only supplements are two trailers.

I recommend this Blu-ray to see Alain Delon having some crime thriller fun. Watch "Three Men" first... with a bottle of Côtes du Rhône. It will make "The Gang" seem more interesting.

"The Gang" / "Three Men to Kill" Blu-ray Combo is currently available.

Frank J. Avella is a film and theatre journalist and is thrilled to be writing for EDGE. He also contributes to Awards Daily and is the GALECA East Coast Rep. Frank is a recipient of a 2019 International Writers Retreat Residency at Arte Studio Ginestrelle (Assisi, Italy), a 2018 Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship, a 2016 Helene Wurlitzer Residency Grant and a 2015 NJ State Arts Council Fellowship Award. He is an award-winning screenwriter and playwright (CONSENT, LURED, SCREW THE COW, FIG JAM, VATICAN FALLS) and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild.