This is the first of three films in which Georges Simenon's marvellous creation Jules Maigret is played by Jean Gabin. Rather plodding initially and resembling a standard 'policier', it takes on a new dimension and becomes totally absorbing with the appearance of Annie Girardot, Jean Desailly and Lucienne Bogaert all of whom are fantastic. In the title role Gabin's screen presence is undeniable but he is far more effective in his quieter moments than when called upon to emote. The ubiquitous Michel Audiard contributes dialogue which is always a plus whilst Louis Page is behind the camera as he was for the two subsequent films. Excellent score by Paul Misraki. At almost two hours it is a wee bit long for a whodunnit but one's interest is sustained by a brilliant cast and superb editing by Henri Taverna. Director Jean Delannoy has served Simenon well by concentrating on the psychological complexity of the characters.. The same director teamed up with Gabin the following year for 'Maigret et L'Affaire Saint-Fiacre' in which Gabin's portrayal is mellower and is ably supported by Valentine Tessier and Michel Auclair. The rest of the cast however is strictly 'B'. Five years were to elapse before 'Maigret voit Rouge' for director Gilles Grangier with whom Gabin made eleven films! Despite some interesting 'types' this is basically one Maigret too far and nothing more than a mediocre gangster movie. We all have our favourite Maigret of course and mine happens to be Harry Bauer. Apparently Simenon himself favoured Rupert Davis!? Oh well, fools give you reasons, wise men never try'!