Although nominally based on a Simenon novel, Melville's adaptation takes only the outline and relocates much of the action from Panama to the US. In effect, it becomes a companion piece to the earlier Deux Hommes dans Manhattan, as dodgy financier Vanel defrauds the Ferchaux family operation and takes flight to New York, he's accompanied by ex-boxer Belmondo, a ready-for-anything assistant whom he only gradually realises may be after his swag. With suspicion beginning to permeate the men's love-hate relationship, they hit the road towards the Deep South and escalating confrontation. The location work intrigues (even though much of it was allegedly shot in Provence), while two generations of star charisma sustains interest, but the whole thing lacks the sprung tightness of Melville at his best.
L'Ainé des Ferchaux
Cast and crew