Synopsis by Mark Deming
Jean-Luc Godard directed this brightly colored, pop-art homage to American crime cinema, which somehow finds room for extended commentary on leftist politics and the corrupt nature of advertising. Paula Nelson (Anna Karina) is a mystery woman (Is she a reporter? Perhaps a spy?) who used to be involved with Richard, a man who is now an outspoken Communist and has been linked to the murder of a foreign agent. Paula wants to silence Richard before he starts making trouble for her, but she can't find much hard evidence that's he's still alive outside of a recently discovered tape recorder that plays his recorded rants on current political issues. While speaking with Typhus (Ernest Menzer), a small time hood who knows about Paula's relationship with Richard, shots ring out and suddenly Typhus is dead. As Paula tries to find a way to get rid of the body, she tries to discover who killed him and why, as a pair of lackadaisical hoods (Laszlo Szabo and Jean-Pierre Leaud) follow her around Paris. Filled with references to American genre cinema and dedicated to Samuel Fuller and Nicholas Ray, Made In U.S.A. was the last film Godard would make with his one-time wife and frequent collaborator Anna Karina, and it was filmed simultaneously with another feature Godard released in 1966, 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her. The admittedly flimsy plot was loosely adapted from the novel The Jugger by Donald E. Westlake (published under the pseudonym Richard Stark); Westlake wasn't paid for the rights, and he prevented the film from being released in the United States until after his death in 2008.
arrest, bar [pub], criminal, death, false-accusation, France, gangster, investigation, kidnapping, killing, lover, murder, nephew, old-flame, recording, search, secrets, victim, voice [speaking], maniac