Three small-time crooks – Edmond, Arthur and Rouquemoute – are planning to mount a small-time heist. To buy the equipment needed for this adventure, they trick notorious art thief Alphonse to lend them some money in exchange for a share in the booty. The robbery goes seriously awry and Alphonse alone is arrested. For the next five years, whilst Alphonse stews in jail planning his revenge, his three former associates settle into a respectable life. Arthur rears racehorses; Edmond runs an institute for Hindus; and Rouquemoute has become an art dealer. Emerging from prison, Alphonse has just one thought in his head: to crush the life out of these three worthless lice… —Filmsdefrance.com
It is no surprise to learn that the Parisian Granier-Deferre, after studying at l’Idhec (L’Institut des Hautes Études Cinématographiques), started his career as assistant on a number of solid mainstream films, several directed by the workmanlike Denys de La Patellière and Jean-Paul Le Chanois, some featuring the great Jean Gabin, still trailing his past glory. He was also assistant on L’Air de Paris (1954), starring Gabin and Arletty, directed by Marcel Carné, one of the leading representatives of le cinéma de qualité, which the new wave reacted against but which, particularly Truffaut and Claude Chabrol, eventually came to admire.
When Granier-Deferre began to direct films himself in 1962, he continued in the same tradition, featuring many of the monstres sacrés of the French cinema – Gabin, Simone Signoret, Alain Delon, Lino Ventura, Romy Schneider, Michel Piccoli, Philippe Noiret and Jean Rochefort – and working on the scripts with a number of contemporary novelists whose… read more