No one does a criminal at the end of his rope quite like the French. And while it’s not an original story, it’s artfully executed here.

Abel is a heist man on the lamb with his two sons. With his partner and wife dead, Abel awaits his old crew to get him back to Paris.

His crew, however, isn’t all that eager to stick their necks out for him, sending instead a young thief (Jean-Paul Belmondo), to whom Abel and his sons take a liking. But Abel finds trying to start over a difficult task.

It’s a low-key gangster film with an emphasis on character from director Claude Sautet. Belmondo is electrifying in what would be the one-two punch along with Breathless that the same year.

Grade: A-

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