A hatter in a provincial town (Michel Serrault) leads the life of a respectable citizen but is in fact a serial murderer. The only person to suspect this is his neighbour the tailor (Charles Asnavour). It is difficult to believe that this film was made in the eighties as not only is the film set in the fifties but it has a totally fifties style production. It seems to be exactly the kind of film that Chabrol and the other members of the nouvelle vague were rebelling against. The story is very straightforward, the characters are stereotypes, the female characters are two dimensional and treated as objects. "Le Boucher" made years earlier is far more modern and superior in every way. The story is well told if you suspend your disbelief and the acting on the whole is good. The town in which it is set is very photogenic, with narrow cobbled streets and no traffic. Not only does it compare badly to other Chabrol films but also to other Simenon adaptations. "Monsieur Hire" has a similarly paced and straightforward story line but is more adventurous in visual style and tells a more modern story with two more believable characters. "Le Horloger de Saint-Paul" has almost a documentary style and requires a lot of thought as the development is to do with the main character rather than the storyline, and is far superior.
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