Classic French Polar film with two greatest stars of the seventies : homely , craggy-looking mug Lino Ventura and attractive Marlene Jovert . Rude police inspector Léonetti (brutish, burly-framed presence Lino Ventura) , a two-fisted , violent cop detains a son of powerful lawyer and this one seeks vengeance . As soon as chief inspector to be aware , Leonetti has been sent to a suburban district after being reprimanded . Leonetti is angry to be moved a second-rate police station but he is assigned to form a peculiar team . There he meets young and beautiful Jeanne Dumas (Marlene Jovert) who is given as his colleague . Both of whom join forces to catch small-time delinquents . Later on , the duo formed by the efficient policeman and the rookie cop are soon assigned a very difficult assignment : to find a missing witness whose evidence is instrumental in convicting a killer called Soramon (Heron) . They start searching throughout Paris , asking neighbours , finding several tracks and red herrings . Meanwhile , they are pursued by a mysterious gangster called Greg (Michael Constantin) .
This is a suspense ¨Polar¨ or French Noir film in which intrigue and thriller is continuous . From the beginning to the end it turns out to suspenseful , including well developing of interesting characters , and for that reason is entertaining . The movie has great loads of emotion , dark-edged drama , tension and intriguing events . Exciting and thought-provoking screenplay by the same Jose Giovanni , based on the novel titled ¨Dernier Domicile Connu¨ written by Joseph Harrington . Studio-character about unsettling characters damned to inevitable tragedies , powerful finale , stylized set pieces heightens the suspense and tension have place in all Jose Giovanni's film-making . One of his favourite actors was Lino Ventura , whom Jose directed many times . Actors' interpretation is excellent , as Lino Ventura , as Marlene Jobert . Ventura as a serious as well as tough cop with dark past is magnificent . Lino was a big French star and ex-boxer , looking for gangster types for his next film , director Jacques Becker gave the inexperienced 34-year-old his first acting job as bad guy support to star Jean Gabin in the crime thriller ¨Hand off the loot¨ (1954) . Lino went on to appear with Gabin in several of the star's subsequent movies , often playing a gangster , including "Crime and Punishment" , ¨Speaking of Murder¨ and ¨Maigret¨. Lino came into his own as a tough-nut character star in the 1960s playing both sides of the moral fence , as policeman or mobster . Lino appeared in scores of films now considered classic French cinema . His peculiar aspect took the form of various criminals types as in ¨Second Breath¨ (1966) and ¨Happy New Year¨ (1973) as well as dogged , good-guy inspectors in ¨The incorruptible¨ (1975) or ¨The French Detective¨ , ¨Illustrious Corpses¨ (1976), and ¨The Grilling¨ . He played other unforgettable films , such as ¨The Three penny Opera¨ , ¨Modigliani¨, ¨The adventurers¨ , The slap¨, ¨Jailbird's vacation¨ , ¨The army of shadows¨ , ¨Witness in the City¨ and ¨Joe Valachi's papers¨ . Support cast is pretty good , as Paul Crauchet , Michael Constantine and uncredited Serge Marquand .
Evocative and atmospheric cinematography by Etienne Becker is simply riveting . Special mention for musical score by François De Roubaix , it's sensitive and agreeable , including a feeling leitmotif . The motion picture was well produced by Jacques Bar and compellingly written/directed by Jose Giovanni , making a memorable work , though sometimes results to be slow-moving . Giovanni participated in the French Resistance during World War II . Worked as a lumberjack , diver , mountain guide and coal miner . Jose wrote 20 novels, 2 memories' books , 33 scripts , and directed 15 movies and 5 TV movies . His novel, "Le Trou," ("The hole", slang for prison) , which became a classic film , was based on his own escape attempt from a Paris prison . Director Jacques Becker bought the rights of the book and directed it in 1959 , considered to be the best prison movie . That's how José Giovanni entered the cinema world . He became a well-known dialoguist , scenarist too, working many times with Jacques Becker . Then he directed his first movie in 1966 , "La Loi Des Survivants" , while he was still writing novels about gangsters , cops , prison and manly friendship . He was a purveyor of a certain kind of noir movie , creating his own company and a tiny studio . Some of his films , many are based from his own novels , include Le Rapace (1968), La Scoumoune (1972) , The gypsy (1975) , Boomerang (1976) , and Le Ruffian (1983). Giovanni directed some great French actors as Alain Delon , Jean Gabin , Jean-Paul Belmondo , and , of course , Lino Ventura .