Could have been much better if only they had chosen between Audiard and Simenon
The movie starts out great with Michel Audiard's lines mouthed with gluttony by Michel Simon, and with Pierre Brasseur as his magnificent sparring-partner. Then the story switches to the main characters: Lino Ventura and Annie Girardot's low-life couple. From the buoyant Audiard exposition we are thrown into a noir Simenon atmosphere, and the movie never recovers from such a radical turn.
Basically the short story may have been enough to do a noir Simenon adaptation or a farcical Audiard flick à la Tonton Flingueurs. Unfortunately they didn't chose at all, yet Lino Ventura is obviously very limited when it comes to displaying emotions without crushing someone's nose, so he was miscast for the Simenon atmosphere anyway.
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