American filmmaker Jules Dassin has reportedly died today in Athens, Greece, of complications after catching flu. Obviously it is a sad time for fans of Dassin's Night and the City; Richard Widmark, the actor who starred in that classic noir, died one week ago.

Dassin was born in Connecticut in 1911, became an actor in Yiddish theater in New York and then went on to Hollywood, where he made films noir like Brute Force, The Naked City, Thieves' Hideaway and of course Night and the City, which was his last American film thanks to the persecution of the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Fortunately, as an exile in Europe, he continued to churn out brilliant movies, such as the pre-eminent heist flick Rififi, the crime caper Topkapi and the gold-hearted hooker film Never on a Sunday, which starred Dassin and his future wife, Greek actress Melina Mercouri, and for which he received Oscar nominations for writing and directing. His last film was the disappointing 1980 Canadian production Circle of Two, which starred Richard Burton and Tatum O'Neal.
categories Cinematical