All the suspense and tension of the best of French noir, in a mix of manhunts and fatalism
Two giants of French cinema meet for the first time: Jean Gabin, already a screen legend, and Gérard Depardieu in one of his first big roles
An engaging detective story full of suspense and tension. In keeping with the best of French tradition, the chases and gunfights are tinged with a sense of fatalism, the dream of an unattainable happiness. The noir tradition finds new colours with the wonderful cinematography of Claude Renoir, who reconstructs a pale, twilight universe, particularly effective when the film goes deep into the underbelly of the Pigalle district. Jean Gabin, nearing his seventies, carries his legendary status on his shoulders without letting it weigh him down. He plays an old-school detective whose light blue eyes have seen it all. Playing opposite him is Fabio Testi, who despite his athletic prowess can’t free himself from evil. In one of his first big roles, Gérard Depardieu gives a high-energy performance as a small-time thief and police informer.
Detective Inspector Le Guen captures the killer Gassot, but does not agree with the decision to lock him up in a psychiatric hospital. Of course, Gassot manages to escape and starts killing again. A game of cat-and-mouse ensues between policeman and killer. Both are alone, one against the other. Right up to the last gunshot.