Hit-man Marcel Bozzufi goes on the run after a failed hit
Hit men can be heroes, and they easily can be tragic heroes when they get killed. We can't be sure which way a story will go. They can be heroes when they restrict their hits to gangsters and when they have a code of ethics. We can feel sorry for their difficulties when they attempt to leave their organizations or when they have had their fill of killing or when they start to crack up. We can admire their solitary skills and secrecy.
Bozzufi, who was Fernando Rey's bodyguard in "The French Connection" plays a taciturn hit-man. He intentionally misses shooting his friend Michel Constantin, a regular in French gangster movies. This causes a chase with him the prey. The Riviera is where he heads where, after some escapes, he ends up in a villa with Sylva Koscina. This starts a cat and mouse game between them because she's not so innocent. Also, her man may appear. Meanwhile the gang is still on Bozzufi's trail.
The direction milks the script of its psychological import, showing us Bozzufi's and Koscina's reactions and giving them a chance to convey their feelings. A big budget is not required. When there isn't the cat and mouse game going on, there is pursuit action and confrontations. Police play only a small part but they add to the suspense.
The tone of the film is subdued tension and it's well done. This is a very good hit man movie, carrying on a sub-genre of its own.
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