Burglar Maurice Faugel has just finished his sentence. He murders Gilbert Vanovre, a receiver, and steals the loot of a break-in. With another crime planned his friend Silien brings him the needed equipment. But Silien is a police informers...
The America-obsessed but somehow ineffably French, Jean-Pierre Melville delivers another noiresque gangster film. Jean-Paul Belmondo - in fedora and trench coat - uses white editor's gloves whenever he shoots anyone and, in an astonishing sequence, ties a woman to a radiator to batter information out of her.
It seems that Belmondo is the rat squealing on jewel thief Serge Reggiani, but the actual plot revealed by late flashbacks turns everything around and becomes clear only as the leads are dying. Sumptuously noirish in monochrome, with telling, minimal gestures.
A movie where, according to Melville "all characters are two-faced, all characters are false".