Tough cop Mangin (Depardieu) works in a seedy area of Paris, dealing with pimps, prostitutes and pushers. When he arrests a Tunisian drug dealer, he also brings in his surly girlfriend Noria (Marceau). Out on bail, Noria hangs around with her lawyer Lambert (Anconina) who happens to be buddies with Mangin. The detective and the girl fall for each other, but how much does she know about a missing stash of illicit cash?
During his relatively short film career (only ten features), Pialat worked four times with the great Depardieu. As the jaded but lovelorn Mangin, the actor exudes the existential ennui of a classic film noir protagonist. Shot in a scrappy, hand-held style to boost immediacy, Pialat captures the working-class milieu of the streets, the brutality of the cops and the ambiguous moral ground of the justice system in this authentic, jagged “policier.”