Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. France/Italy, 1967. Compagnia Cinematografica Champion, Les Productions Artistes Associes, Nouvelles Editions de Films. Screenplay by Jean-Claude Carriere, Louis Malle, dialogue by Daniel Boulanger,based on the novel by Georges Darien. Cinematography by Henri Decae. Produced by Georges Laurent, J.F. Malle, Alain Queffelean. Music by Henri Lanoe. Production Design by Jacques Saulnier. Costume Design by Paulette Breil, Ghislain Uhry. Film Editing by Henri Lanoe.
Mellow in pace but rich in subtext, this is an exemplary film by Louis Malle. Jean-Paul Belmondo plays a young 19th century heir who returns from the army to discover that his scheming uncle has cheated him out of his fortune. This also means that our hero can’t marry his lifelong love (Genevieve Bujold), so he turns to robbery to make ends meet and becomes a seasoned pro at it. Political connotations and rich period detail highlight a story that is never dull or predictable. Belmondo’s easy charm is perfectly suited to the material, and Bujold is dewy and young, both of them backed up by the very fine screenplay.