A French UN delegate has disappeared into thin air, sending reporter Moreau (Jean-Pierre Melville) and hard drinking photographer Delmas (Pierre Grasset) on an assignment to find him. Their only lead is a picture of three women.
1941 in a small town in Nazi occupied France. Against the will of its elderly male and his adult niece residents, the Nazis commandeer a house for one of their officers, Lt. Werner von ... See full summary »
When French ex-paratrooper turned amateur boxer Michel Maudet looses his last fight he decides to quit boxing. The French banker and businessman Dieudonné Ferchaux is looking for a new personal secretary and bodyguard. The 25 year old ex-paratrooper is perfect for this role and he accepts the job. Because Mr. Ferchaux is in trouble with the French authorities, especially for his tax evasion crimes, he decides to run to America taking his personal secretary and bodyguard with him. After being threatened with extradition from the USA Mr. Ferchaux plans to escape to South America.He carries a vast sum of money with him but his bodyguard Maudet has a few dishonest ideas of his own.Written by
As the plot is mainly about a flight throughout the United States from New York to New Orléans of the two main characters played by Jean Paul Belmondo and production could not film on locations; the indoor scenes were shot in Melvilles's own studio in Paris with the addition of many rear projections for the scenes inside cars. See more »
My name is Michel Maudet. I guess. Back then, I was a boxer. Or more precisely, trying to become one.
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I saw this at London's National Film Theatre a couple of nights ago. The print, the best they could lay their hands on, was scratched and the colour had faded to the extent that much of it was a pinky sepia. Also, I could find very few reviews to read beforehand (zero on the IMDB). So I wasn't expecting much.
And I was therefore very pleasantly surprised. The tale of an old crooked banker who absconds to the US with a young male golddigger really works. Charles Vanel (who was so brilliant in The Wages of Fear) and Jean-Paul Belmondo are a wonderful team, as a very spiky and spiteful Father/Son relationship grows between them.
As a travelogue of a journey from New York to the Deep South it's fascinating, and reminded me, of all things, of Easy Rider, which I very much suspect it may have influenced.
There's a few problems with it, mainly due to the fact the Jean-Pierre Melville never really got the timing right when it came to editing emotional scenes (especially at the end).
But if you're a fan of the early Melville movies, Le Doulos in particular, then check it out.
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