Any Number Can Win (film)

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Any Number Can Win
Any Number Can Win.jpg
Directed by Henri Verneuil
Produced by Jacques Bar
Screenplay by Michel Audiard
Albert Simonin
Henri Verneuil
Based on the novel The Big Grab by John Trinian
Starring Jean Gabin
Alain Delon
Claude Cerval
C. C. M.
Cit Films
Distributed by MGM
Release dates
  • April 3, 1963 (1963-04-03)
Running time
118 minutes
Country France
Language French
Box office 3,518,083 admissions (France)[1]

Any Number Can Win (French: Mélodie en sous-sol) is a 1962 French film directed by Henri Verneuil. The film is based on the novel The Big Grab by Zekial Marko (fr).


Charles comes out of prison after serving five years for attempted robbery. His wife wants him to go legit but he immediately starts making plans for robbing the gambling casino at Cannes.

Charles uses two assistants: Francis, a young man whom he met in prison, and Francis' brother-in-law, Louis. The casino proceeds are kept in a basement vault which can be reached only by an elevator. Charles orders Francis to find out the exact location of the backstage trapdoor which leads to the elevator shaft.

Francis does this by beginning a romance with dancer Brigitte. He learns the information and the robbery proceeds.

On the night of the robbery, Francis goes to the casino roof and lowers himself down the elevator shaft. He robs the head cashier and put the proceeds in a bag, then lets in Charles. The two of them leave with a billion francs.

Francis hides the money in a swimming pool locker room. However the next day Charles shows Francis the front page of the newspaper - there is a photograph with Francis in it. Charles tells Francis he's too risky, and orders him to take the bag out of the locker and drop it off with Charles.

Francis tries to so this but police are everywhere, meaning it is difficult for him to transport the money to Charles, who is waiting at a table. Francis then overhears the cashier telling the police say he remembers the suitcase where the thieves stashed the money.

Desperate, Francis places the bag in the pool. The bag breaks open and Francis and Charles look on as the money float to the top of the pool. The money is spotted by the police - but it is unclear whether Charles and Francis are arrested.



Alain Delon took the film's distribution rights in certain countries instead of a straight salary. Because this had never been done before in France this was known as "Delon's method". It worked for Delon but in 1965 he claimed "no one else has tried it since and made money."[2]


The Washington Post called the film "dazzling... one of the best of its kind in years."[3] Bosley Crowther of the New York Times said it was one of the ten best films of the year.

The Mystery Writers of America gave the film an "Edgar" as the Best Foreign Movie of the year.[4]


  1. ^ French box office information for film at Box Office Story
  2. ^ New Dream for Alain Delon Thomas, Kevin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 18 Dec 1965: a12.
  3. ^ This Is Living End By Richard L. Coe. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973) [Washington, D.C] 16 Jan 1964: E6.
  4. ^ Book, Movies Win Honors Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 25 Apr 1964: B8.

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