Cinema: Mayhem in Marseille

Borsalino is a silly Gallic gangster flick that means no harm. It's good enough fun, in a kind of punch-drunk way, what with all its elaborate costumes, its opulent sets, its duke-outs, shootups and gang wars. But in their campy zeal to duplicate the hard-boiled crime genre of the '30s and '40s, the film makers lapse frequently into a kind of hysterical, hell-for-leather hyperbole that gives the movie an air of burlesque gone overboard.

The plot could have been lifted from a 1933 story conference at Warner Brothers. Siffredi (Alain Delon) is a petty...

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