Max Le Menteur (Gabin) is one of the smoother, more assured gangsters in Paris. He thinks and lives big, but always keeps his mouth shut. Ready to retire after a big gold heist, Max is plunged back into his old dangerous life after friend and partner Riton (Dary) lets his tongue slip about the loot to his pretty but talkative girlfriend, played by a youthful Moreau. She then tips off a rival crook named Angelo (Ventura), and the real trouble begins.
Jacques Becker's tight, intelligent thriller out-noirs most American entries. The magnetic presence of Gabin, France's answer to Tracy and Bogart, helps immeasurably. Gabin's Max is tough as they come, but also shows a human side in his unwavering loyalty to careless pal Riton. Becker keeps the yarn unraveling at a brisk pace, as Max's long-awaited retirement remains suspended in mid-air. Eye-catching Paris locale adds flavor to this juicy crime classic.