Six months before his retirement from the criminal police, inspector Joss finds his colleague Gouvion dead, in a poorly faked suicide attempt. Joss loses his temper, and investigates on his... See full summary »
Six months before his retirement from the criminal police, inspector Joss finds his colleague Gouvion dead, in a poorly faked suicide attempt. Joss loses his temper, and investigates on his own, which leads him through the bas-fond of Paris... Written by
This was another Jean Gabin vehicle which often turned up on Italian TV; having decided to check it out, I'm glad I did because it's a pretty good policier!
Despite his advancing age, the star is wholly believable as the dogged Police Commissioner (the "Pacha" of the title) - out to avenge his childhood, albeit shady, friend - who's also something of an amiable curmudgeon. The film features an elaborate daylight robbery sequence - after which one member of the gang eliminates all his associates in order to keep the loot for himself (one of them is pushed inside his car onto thin ice which naturally breaks and engulfs him)! - and is fast-paced, and short, enough to never overstay its welcome. Besides, it's given a tremendous boost by a modern percussion-heavy score by celebrated performer/songwriter Serge Gainsbourg (who even appears as himself during a recording session of the tune heard over the opening credits!).
There's also a hilarious scene in which the old-fashioned Gabin visits a hippie club - in search of a girl (Dany Carrel of MILL OF THE STONE WOMEN ) who, apart from being a fling of Gabin's deceased colleague, is a link to the robbery mentioned above since she's the sister of one of the culprits (now also dead). Therefore, she and Gabin conspire to trap the man responsible for both deeds and the film ends with an indiscriminate shoot-out - punctuated by an ominous organ drone
in an abandoned warehouse (which curiously anticipates the climax of
THE FRENCH CONNECTION !).
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