I always watched Melville's films with mixed feelings, feeling alienated from them by their detachment, sometimes cynicism, sometimes callousness and their lack of human involvement and compassion, their detachment almost touching on inhuman indifference. This story was written by Georges Simenon, who always wrote tons of books and stories of crime and the fallacy of human nature, never presenting any heroes or ideals. Melville has added to the story, and as all his films it is extremely well done, just the introductory scene in the boxing ring is a virtuoso proof, and the music is good also, but what is lacking then? Like in most French films the detachment becomes to frigid. Although there is no sexism in this film, and you certainly don't miss it, still there is also no romanticism at all, although two girls are involved, one abandoned and the other a strip teaser. What you lack is true human feelings, which only the old Charles Vanel shows to some degree, as an old sick man desperately needing supporting company. Claude Chabrol is even worse, while Melville at least is a great cinematographic aesthete with a high developed sense of style.