Not to be mistaken for Jean-Pierre Melville's eponymous movie (1972).
This movie depicts the post-war years:war and occupation have bled the country white and if some people are ready to roll up their sleeves (the cop played by Lucien Coedel),some think that working's too hard and that there's money to be made with the black market (his brother-in -law played by Raymond Pellegrin.
The beginning of the movie is the best.It's actually a long flashback: the bad boy has been severely injured and lies on a hospital bed and his brother-in-law,the good guy remembers:the housewives standing in line to get some meat or some milk;his meager salary and his small apartment ;his wife's brother working first as a mechanic,then leaving it for the broader horizons of black market;his smart clothes and his easy life...
Unfortunately the rest of the movie is not in the same league.Forgetting the interesting backdrop ,the story is boiled down to a banal gangsters story,not France's forte.This brothers' story needed a Robert Siodmak,a Raoul Walsh or a Jules Dassin.
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