Alain Delon is arguably one of the XX Century myths, not only as an actor but also as an image. It’s a perfect face coupled to a shadowy personality that generates some sort of contrast that makes the character enigmatic and attractive to the same point.
This is a fragment, from one of hist best films, “Plein Soleil” where you can almost grasp all those little aspects that made the guy so popular back in the 60s.
The sympathy, the uninterested yet cool and serious looks, that naïf touch… Everything. It’s not easy being Delon without being Delon… It’s an ability that, unfortunately for the rest of us mortals, only Delon has.
His best films are however those in which he plays the role of the loser rather than a winner. “La piscine” or “Plein Soleil” (with Ronet) are good examples.
One would thing that Rocco and his brothers fills up that category but there Delon is too pure and good. Never forget that Delon has a fucking bastard inside him ready to explode.
Other stuff, specially the ones he did with Jean Pierre Melville, are more interesting as an aesthetic effort rather than movies themselves.
And finally are the works he did with the trio Giovanni-Enrico-Roubaix. It’s action/adventure movies that sure will entertain you but where Delon doesn’t play Delon.
No other actor comes close to him in that sense. Neither McQueen nor Newman.