Not quite what you would expect from someone like Henri Verneuil. Patrick Dewaere does indeed rescue the film from complete oblivion. While Robert Lattes' novel makes pleasant reading (if you read French, that is), the movie adaptation doesn't amount to much. Denouncing the ills of "big business" is certainly laudable, as is placing the action if the larger picture of "economic history". But is this sufficient to keep an audience spellbound from beginning to end? All the ingredients are there for the taking. But Verneuil never seems to be willing to go all the way, and he simply leaves you high and dry. Enrolling a better- than-average cast of actors is no guaranteed recipe for success. If all you're looking for is just to sit back and relax because you've nothing better to do than watch a movie, OK -- go ahead. But if you're looking for a good French movie, skip this one. A sheer waste of time. (But read the book by all means).
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