2 October 2004 | greenfrog
From a time in film history when smoking a Gitane was drama.
A strange film. Riddled with clumsiness: fight scenes with punches missing by a mile and ridiculuous Foley work using interior echo for outdoor action; people working as lumberjacks wearing clean shirts at the end of the day, etc. etc.
Funny too that the actor Bourvil, best known as a comedian, comes across as
slightly mean, taciturn and unpleasant in a role obviously written to be warm- hearted. An aging Lino Ventura is frankly embarrassing as the romantic lead,
and his lazy gambit of instilling drama by lighting up yet another Gauloise or Gitane (count 'em!) should have been jumped on and stubbed out by the
director. The plot seems to borrow hugely from American films, and there is little local flavour. The bizarre highlight is the gang of convicts letting their hair down on a fairground carousel, gaily tossing confetti at each other, followed by the dramatic denouement when one of the convicts refuses to let a rival have a turn on a fairground game! Zut alors!