There’s an old interview with Quentin Tarantino (featured on the 10th anniversary RESERVOIR DOGS DVD) where he offers an example of how he likes to twist conventional genre moments by allowing banal reality to intrude on them: “Cops are chasing after a character down the street. The character’s running down the street. They commandeer a car, throw the person out, jump in the car, but it’s a stick shift and they don’t drive a stick. Okay? That’s real life…” Moments like that helped to make Tarantino’s early neo-noir films cultural touchstones, but he certainly wasn’t the first to use the strategy. After rewatching French filmmaker Jacques Deray’s unjustly overlooked 1972 neo-noir THE OUTSIDE MAN recently, I couldn’t help but think of the Tarantino quote. The film is memorable and potent because it ably blends familiar genre characters and standard crime movie tropes with surprising everyday details, undermining its audience’s expectations with understated wit.