Two men carry at night four suitcases of contraband meat across German-occupied Paris during WWII. Their opposite personalities and strange encounters provoke different adventures - until they are arrested by the police.
Two men, a painter and a poor guy, have to cross over Paris by night during World War II and to deliver black market meat. As they walk along dark Parisian streets, they encounter various characters and adventures until they are arrested by German police.Written by
Marcel Ayme's original story goes this way. Martin and Grandgil hire out to a corrupt wholesaler, Jambier, in wartime Paris. They agree to transport about 200 lbs of pork in four suitcases to a butcher who is waiting to receive this contraband (rationing is in effect, remember). Grandgil through his histrionics, increases the fee to 5,000 francs from the original 900. They encounter some fascinating and corrupt people along the way. Martin kills Grandgil at the latter's studio: he's enraged by the artist's lack of concern for the value of work and the concept of honor. Martin delivers the pork finally and is arrested for murder.
Well, you wouldn't recognize the story that Aurenche and Bost created out of this sour little saga. They have given it a happy ending. I am not going to tell you what happens to Gabin and Bourvil, but it is a crowd pleaser. I have stated my reserve about late-period Gabin in the past, but here he is terrific. The rant at Jambier's store is very funny: "Jambier, 45 rue Poliveau, my price is a thousand francs!" Bourvil is a great foil for him; he's more rational and less risk-taking than Gabin, if also less imaginative.
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