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“Classe Tous Risques” – Opens May 5 at Ken Cinema

It’s the lost French classic. Lino Ventura and Jean-Paul Belmondo (fresh off Godard’s “Breathless”), a heist, neo-realism, film noir — what else can you want? Maybe having the reels cross the Atlantic about four decades ago.

“Classe Tous Risques” (a play on “classe touriste,” or tourist section), directed by Claude Sautet, is a chase-happy psychological romp from Milan to Paris in which a gangster starts to doubt the meaning of his life in the underworld — as screen gangsters have been wont to do ever since. The 1960 film, too, had trouble emerging from the shadows, somehow forgotten amid the big players of the New Wave, brought stateside only in dubbed form (“The Big Risk”) and written off as a B-movie. Its cult status thrived over time in Europe, though, going down as a reference across genres. Now the classy thriller gets an overdue stab at drawing American audiences into its dark game. (GF)